Blog: Olly WehringAlcohol and the kids - what's an industry to do?

Olly Wehring | 3 February 2009

The recommendation by the UK's chief medical officer last week that children under the age of 15 should never be given alcohol has highlighted a major conundrum facing the drinks industry over here.

Obviously, we are somewhat hamstrung when it comes to saying anything to counter the CMO's opinion. Indeed, as the European Spirits Organisation, CEPS, told me last week: “The European spirits industry sharply condemns any misuse of its products - this especially includes consumption by minors”.

And yet, here in the UK, 'binge drinking' hits the headlines almost daily.

Is this advise really the best way forward to quell the scourge of binge drinking? In southern Europe, for example, many youngsters are introduced to a tipple by their parents virtually at birth. And they don't seem to be throwing up in gutters and getting into fights on buses every Friday night when they hit legal drinking age.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, so do drop me a line, whatever your opinion.


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