Canada: Alcohol advertising should be more tightly regulated, Quebec group says
The group says that advertising for alcohol products is omnipresent in the public milieu and can be seen by minors and those addicted to alcohol.
February 26, 2020
An association dedicated to improving Quebecers’ health is calling on the Legault government to accelerate its revision of regulations governing the promotion, advertising and education programs concerning alcoholic beverages.
The Association pour la santé publique du Québec (ASPQ) wants the government to crack down on the amount of advertising for alcohol products in public spaces.
Marianne Dessureault of ASPQ said that advertising for alcohol products is omnipresent in the public milieu and can be seen by minors and those addicted to alcohol. She argues the ads can be linked to early alcohol use and an overall increase in consumption and that the presence of the ads should be limited.
Dessureault points out that the ads can be seen in bus shelters, store windows, billboards and subway stations. She added that the promotion also takes place online, with discounts, event sponsorships and, given that their aim is to increase consumption, should be questioned.
The ASPQ contends the ads have caused young people to dismiss the dangers of alcohol abuse, citing a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information that found nearly half of those aged 18-24 say they have abused alcohol.
Between 2017-2018 there have been more than 5,000 hospitalizations of Quebecers aged 10-24 because of alcohol-related causes.
The association’s call for a hastened revision of the rules comes two years after the death of 14-year-old Athéna Gervais, who drowned in a stream near her Laval high school after after drinking a large quantity of high-sugar, high-alcohol-content beverages. A coroner investigating her death found she had consumed the equivalent of a dozen glasses of wine in the space of 30 minutes.