Latvian Health Ministry proposes ban on alcohol ads on TV, radio and internet

The Latvian Health Ministry has come up with a new initiative to ban advertising alcoholic beverages on television, radio and the internet as well as alcohol sale at gas stations, the ministry said in a statement to the press.

The Health Ministry said the proposals have been included in its action plan for combating alcoholism with the aim to curb consumption of alcohol and its harmful effects on public health. The action plan, which has been worked out for 2020-2022, also provides for improving the treatment and rehabilitation of alcohol addicts.

“Alcohol consumption in Latvia is growing year by year, therefore it is essential to restrict access to alcohol and educate people about its detrimental impact on health,” the Health Ministry said in the statement.

Citing studies by the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministry noted that restrictions on advertising are seen as one of the most effective ways to reduce alcohol consumption, especially among young people. The ministry therefore proposes banning alcohol advertisements on television, radio and the internet.

The plan also includes restrictions on various alcohol sales and discount campaigns.

To restrict access to alcoholic beverages, the ministry proposes a ban on selling booze at gas stations and increased controls on retailers to prevent the distribution of alcohol among minors.