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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Psychiatrists support MP's call to limit exposure of children to alcohol advertising

Embargoed until 30 March 2011

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has praised a private member's bill put forward in parliament today by Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes. Dr Wollaston will put forward proposals to limit the exposure of children and young people to alcohol advertising as a Ten Minute Rule Motion.

Commenting on the bill Dr Peter Rice, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said:

"We fully support the private member’s bill put forward by Dr Sarah Wollaston. Children in the UK have higher levels of alcohol consumption compared to children in other parts of the world. In 2009, the Chief Medical Officer for England estimated that 11 to 17-year-olds in England consume 20 million units of alcohol each week. Furthermore, alcohol consumption rates among young British people are 3 times those of young people in Finland and Norway. Such drinking has a considerable impact on children’s lives, including their mental health, due to both immediate effects on personal safety and longer term effects on neuro-development.

"Other countries are doing better than us on reducing the harm caused by alcohol to children, and Dr Wollaston’s Bill draws on the experience of France where alcohol advertising and promotion are not allowed at events or in media with youth appeal. We urge MPs from all political parties, who are concerned about child protection, to give this bill the backing it so urgently needs."

For further information, please contact:
Claire McLoughlin or Deborah Hart in the Communications Department.

Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 0203 701 2538


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