The Thai Cabinet has approved plans to ban TV and radio advertising for alcoholic and energy drinks between 5am and 10pm. The measures are scheduled to take effect from 1 October and will also include a complete ban on cinema advertising.

The government said the ads could be watched by minors and promote drinking at an early age. Legislators also hope the ban will help to reduce the country's drink-driving and road death rate.

At present, commercial TV stations earn significant amounts of revenue from drinks advertising. The ban seems unlikely to affect sports broadcasts when drinks sponsors are involved provided certain conditions are met. "Sports sponsoring using logos is still allowed as long as the alcohol firms do not say drinking is good for people," Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, said after the Cabinet meeting.

Regarding the inclusion of energy drinks in the measures, the Prime Minister was quoted as saying that he did not believe such drinks, which contain caffeine and other stimulants and have become popular with long-distance lorry drivers and manual labourers, did people any good at all and therefore should not be advertised.