DPA International , 20-09-2023

Burkhard Blienert, German Government Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues

Germany needs more extensive restrictions on alcohol advertising in order to protect young people, the government’s commissioner for drug and addiction said on Tuesday.

“In order to finally put a stop to the existing proliferation of alcohol and tobacco offers, we need much stronger and very clear guidelines, for example when it comes to advertising restrictions,” Burkhard Blienert told dpa. Germany is too lax in its handling of alcohol sales and advertising, he said. Warnings on labels, as fellow EU member Ireland wants to introduce in 2026, are a step in the right direction, Blienert said.

“Information about risks and possible health hazards are certainly a good building block in Ireland as well as in Germany to educate people about how unhealthy even small amounts of alcohol are,” Blienert said.

Alcohol advertising should be stopped where children and young people are exposed to it: on social media and in the peak hours of television and radio until 11 pm (2100 GMT), the commissioner said.

Blienert said he is in talks with the minister for family affairs, Lisa Paus, and the minister for agriculture, Cem Özdemir, in order to push through stricter regulations in this legislative period.

He also wants the age limit for the purchase of alcohol to be raised from the current 16 years for beer and wine.

Young people from the age of 14 are allowed to drink alcohol in the presence of their parents in Germany. Blienert argued that this rule should be abolished.

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