Denmark’s Minister for Social Affairs and Integration Annette Vilhelmsen has called out nightclubs to stop organizing so called ‘Young Club’ events, in which children as young as ten are effectively familiarized with drinking games.

Recently Danish newspapers revealed that in a number of nightclubs, children are cheered on as they have juice poured down their throats out of liquor bottles. Another game that is reportedly played at these night clubs is trying to finish your drink as quick as possible by sucking through a large straw.

These are examples of scenes occurring as part of ‘Young Club’ promotions that invite children aged 10-15 into the night clubs and provide activities that critics say promote dangerous binge drinking.

Minister Vilhemmsen of Social Affairs has strongly condemned the trend: “It sounds completely wrong that children would party like that.” […] “There is no reason to teach children to drink in the manner that is apparently happening [in the clubs].”

While the events are alcohol-free – the liquor bottles used in the drinking games contain soft drinks and juice – the ‘Young Clubs’ are seen as dangerous and irresponsible. It is easy to imagine that this is training young children to grow up and use alcohol in the same way as they are thought at these events.

Ejvind Sandal, who heads the board that oversees alcohol advertisements, describes the events as marketing alcohol to children, pointing out that it’s an illegal practice.

A spokesperson of the Dampmøllen nightclub which hosts ‘Young Clubs’ told metroxpress that the events were meant to attract future customers: “Our ‘soft drink’ discos are a good way to show off our establishments before the children become old enough to go out on the town.”

That remark was characterized as “cynical” by Johan Damgaard, the head of the alcohol awareness society Alkohol & Samfund.

Source: 08/23/13

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