The Russian Federation has just passed a bill banning alcohol advertising on a broad range of platforms. The public health community strongly welcomes the move.
In an attempt to curb Russia’s chronic alcohol abuse problems (the country has double the WHO critical level of use) the State Duma, Russia’s lower house, passed in mid-July a bill restricting alcohol advertising on a wide range of platforms. This measure will be implemented in a two-fold process:
Since 23rd July 2012 alcohol advertising has been banned on billboards, television, radio, the internet and on public transport (including railways, in bus stations and airports).
From 1st January 2013 the ban will extend its scope to also cover print media.
“It is no secret that one of the big challenges facing the country is alcohol addiction among young people. In the past few years, alcohol has claimed many lives, and the health of thousands of young people has been severely undermined. Consequently, it was crucial to solve the issue related to advertising alcohol on the internet, the sphere where young people are the most active target,” said Sergei Zheleznyak, one of the proponents of the new bill.
Being a strong advocate of strengthening the current EU framework for marketing and advertising of harmful substances, EPHA strongly welcomes the Russian move and hopes this will encourage other countries to follow.