BMA backs GP MP's bid to block alcohol advertising

The BMA has backed a private member's bill to protect children from alcohol advertising, set to be introduced in the House of Commons by Devon GP and Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston.

Dr Wollaston will propose a bill to protect children from alcohol advertising to the House of Commons (Photograph: South Devon Conservatives)
Dr Wollaston will propose a bill to protect children from alcohol advertising to the House of Commons (Photograph: South Devon Conservatives)

The Totnes MP is due to propose the bill on 30 March. It will call for action on the excessive drinking of young people and their exposure to alcohol advertising.

Dr Ram Moorthy, deputy chairman of the BMA’s board of science, said: ‘The BMA is extremely pleased that Dr Sarah Wollaston is introducing this bill to protect children from alcohol advertising.’

He said politicians in France had developed laws to protect children from alcohol advertising and urged UK MPs to do the same.

In an editorial in the BMJ, experts Professor Gerard Hastings and Dr Nick Sheron said the UK drinks industry spends £800m a year promoting alcohol.

This compares with a budget of just £2.6m for the UK’s biggest alcohol education initiative in 2010.

They called for the UK to act. ‘Removing this profoundly unhealthy influence is, unsurprisingly, recognised as a key public health priority,’ the authors said.

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