AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that more needs to be done to stop young people from taking up drinking at an early age, including banning alcohol advertising and promotions that are targeted at teenagers and adolescents.
Dr Pesce said that excess alcohol consumption is known to be a contributor to cancer rates in Australia.
AdvertisementThe 2010 edition of Australia's Health, released yesterday, showed that there are rising rates of cancer in the community and that cancer is the leading cause of disease burden in Australia.
"The AMA wants the Government to target alcohol advertising to young people as part of an overall strategy to cut excessive and irresponsible alcohol consumption in the Australian community," Dr Pesce said.
"What many people don't realise is that excessive alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for cancers of the mouth, breast, oesophagus, liver and other cancers.
"There are an estimated 3000 new cases of cancer attributed to alcohol in a year in Australia.
"The earlier in life that a person starts to drink alcohol, the longer they drink throughout their lives, putting them at greater risk of cancer.
"It is very important that teenagers and adolescents are not tempted to start drinking early or excessively, and that they don't start their adult lives thinking that drinking is glamorous and safe.
"Alcohol advertising is one of the factors that influence young people's attitudes to drinking.
"The Government should move to prohibit the targeted marketing of alcohol products to teenagers and adolescents, and to ban alcohol manufacturers from sponsoring sporting events."
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