Today CEO of Cancer Council Victoria, Todd Harper, called for urgent action to control alcohol advertising and promotion to young people and reduce alcohol related harm at the launch of the Alcohol Advertising Review Board's (AARB) Annual Report for 2013.
"Alcohol advertising is a significant issue considering that children that regularly see alcohol advertising are more likely to start drinking at a younger age and drink at harmful levels as an adult. Drinking from a young age can adversely affect brain development and lead to alcohol-related health problems in later life."
"Those most at risk develop long-term patterns of drinking behaviour at a young age, when they are most susceptible to advertising that sends the wrong message about the harms of drinking." said Mr Harper.
Alcohol is a cause of many cancers, including breast, bowel and liver. Recent figures from the Victorian Cancer Registry show that more than 28,000 Victorians each year are diagnosed with these preventable cancers, many of which are related to alcohol consumption. In 2011, 10,631 Victorians died from preventable cancers.
"Today's report provides further evidence that stronger regulation of alcohol advertising is needed to protect the next generation of young Australians from alcohol marketing and promotions. The report shows that current voluntary self-regulation is unable to stop alcohol companies from targeting young people with promotions for a product they should not consume, and which can cause so much harm."
"The AARB is doing the job that governments in Australia have failed to do properly, and one that the alcohol industry have shown no genuine commitment to. That is, protecting young people from alcohol advertising by providing an independent system of alcohol advertising review."
The AARB reviews complaints from the Australian community about alcohol advertising. The AARB operates with support from health organisations around Australia, including Cancer Council Victoria.
The AARB Annual Report was produced by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and Cancer Council Western Australia.