Call to hide alcohol from view in shops, just like cigarettes

SHOPS should be required to screen alcohol from public view just like cigarettes, Edinburgh’s deputy council leader Cammy Day has said.

By Ian Swanson
Monday, 21st October 2019, 6:00 am
The Scottish Government is to consult on marketing restrictions
The Scottish Government is to consult on marketing restrictions

His call follows a report by the Children’s Parliament in which children as young as nine voiced concern about the high visibility of alcohol in everyday life.

Now he is seeking a meeting with Community Safety Minister Ash Denham on the issue.

The Children’s Parliament report published last month called for alcohol to be made less visible in shops and on TV and the removal of adverts from billboards and an end to alcohol firms sponsoring events where children are present.

Cammy Day has written to Ash Denham asking for a meeting

Councillor Day said he had been shocked by the youngsters’ report. “This was young people aged 9-11 who have fears at that age about the impact of alcohol on their life.

“I’ve written to Ash Denham asking her to work with local government to review alcohol licensing and how we can make it safer for young people. If cigarettes are bad for you and we have them hidden behind a screens, why are we not doing the same for alcohol?”

In his letter to Ms Denham, se said: “Simple approaches where alcohol cannot be seen in outlets would be a positive step.”

A ban on the display of tobacco products in large retail premises was introduced in Scotland in 2013 and extended to smaller shops in 2015.

The Scottish Government published an Alcohol Framework document last year which promised a consultation on potential measures, including mandatory restrictions on alcohol marketing, to protect children and young people.

It also called on the UK Government to protect children from exposure to alcohol marketing on television before the 9pm watershed and in cinemas – or else devolve the powers so the Scottish Parliament can act.

A government spokeswoman said: “We are all too aware of the impact of alcohol advertising and agree that there is more we can do to protect children and young people from alcohol harm. A key part of this is restricting alcohol marketing which is why we will be consulting on options for mandatory restrictions in Scotland in Spring 2020.”