Advertisers take flak for under-age drinkers

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Related tags: Alcohol concern, Alcoholic beverage

Irresponsible marketing of alcopops by some drinks companies is being blamed by Alcohol Concern for a sharp rise in under-age drinking. And Britain...

Irresponsible marketing of alcopops by some drinks companies is being blamed by Alcohol Concern for a sharp rise in under-age drinking. And Britain now has the highest rate of alcohol consumption among teenagers in Europe, it is claimed. One in five children aged 11 to 16 drink alcohol once a week, a survey by the organisation has revealed. The figure rises to nearly one-in-two for 15 to 16-year-olds. And under-age drinkers are now knocking back twice as much alcohol as they did 10 years ago ­ 9.8 units a week compared to 2.3. In addition, 27% of women aged 16 to 24 are drinking twice what doctors recommended ­ a 17% rise in the last year. Eric Appleby, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: "We want Government to stop pussy-footing ­ [it] has been very reticent about tackling this problem head on. Youngsters are binge-drinking more and more. Alcopops are to blame. "Companies have improved how they advertise drinks. But there are still some being irresponsible. "Those who drink heavily in their youth are much more likely to drink heavily as adults." The report reveals major regional differences in drinking patterns. In the north east, 26% of 11 to 15-year-olds drink alcohol at least once a week, while in the north west it was 20% ­ in London the figure is 12%. l Drink is a bigger danger than drugs for night-clubbers, a report in the Emergency Medical Journal has claimed. A survey of clubbers who needed emergency treatment at a hospital in Liverpool found that most had drunk too much rather than overdosed.

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