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Yousaf backs campaign to reduce children’s exposure to alcohol advertising

An alcohol advertising ban was shelved by the Scottish Government (Jane Barlow/PA)
An alcohol advertising ban was shelved by the Scottish Government (Jane Barlow/PA)

Humza Yousaf has backed a campaign to reduce children’s exposure to alcohol advertising.

The First Minister said children are showing a high level of awareness of alcohol brands, as he spoke in support of a campaign from Alcohol Focus Scotland and other groups.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government shelved a controversial proposal to ban alcohol advertising, though it has not been ruled out completely.

Retailers and producers were angered by the proposals before they were shelved.

Mr Yousaf said: “The Scottish Government is fully committed to improving public health and reducing the health risks faced by young people.

“When we improve the welfare of children in Scotland we make a positive difference for generations to come.

“So I fully support [the] campaign to reduce children and young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing.”

Those signing up to the campaign have been asked to declare they belief that “alcohol marketing has no place in childhood”.

Some 40 organisations and 59 MSPs have lent their support.

Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: “It is encouraging to see that the First Minister recognises the evidence that exposure to alcohol marketing causes harm to children and young people and is personally committed to action to protect them.

“This comes off the back of the Scottish Government’s announcement last week that it will consult on specific proposals to restrict such marketing.

“With a shocking 25% increase in alcohol deaths since 2020, Scotland needs to be doing all it can to prevent future health problems.”

She said other European countries had restricted alcohol marketing, including Ireland which is bringing in further measures next year.