Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Alcohol marketing: grooming the next generation

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 01 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1227

Rapid Response:

Re: Alcohol marketing: grooming the next generation

The new analysis by the RAND Corporation shows the ingenuity of alcohol marketers in exposing British teenagers to alcohol promotion, both on television and now in their new skills in the use of social media.

Damage to public health by exterior environmental pollution is dealt with through laws that ensure that the “polluter pays”. Those causing damage to our internal environment should be dealt with by an extension of the same laws. The alcohol industry should pay the NHS bills of over £1.5 billion for treating those conditions solely attributable to the use of alcohol and this might influence their advertising behaviour. The industry's ingenuity could doubtless be employed to devise a scheme for ensuring fair distribution of the cost among their members, perhaps in proportion to the profits they make. Small concerns would make small contributions. An industry devised and administered scheme would avoid costs falling on the taxpayer.

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 March 2013
Gwendolen D Parr
Pulborough W Sussex