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Monday, September 27, 2010

New Policy: Addictive Substance Advertisment Bans

Television these days is chock-full of advertisements that try to entice you to ingest substances that may be harmful to your health. One ad right after the other has to do with a prescription medication that might change your life or an alcoholic beverage which would be best for quenching one's thirst. Repeated exposure can convince children that they should try out the things that they see; some kids start drinking at very young age in part because of the heavy exposure to alcohol ads which depict people having a great time while consuming alcohol.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for a ban on all tobacco advertising that can be seen easily by children as well as alcohol ads and other prescription drug ads on television in a new policy statement. “It’s time to eliminate all tobacco advertising and decrease greatly the depiction of smoking in mainstream media”, write researcher Victor C. Strasburger, MD, and colleagues in Pediatrics. “Although parents, schools, and the federal government are trying to get children and teenagers to ‘just say no’ to drugs, more than $25 billion worth of cigarette, alcohol, and prescription drug advertising is effectively working to get them to ‘just say yes’ to smoking, drinking, and other drugs”. More money is spent on figuring out how to get people to drink and drug than is spent on prevention and treatment for those who become addicted.

The entertainment industry is also to blame for mixed messages to children about the effects of drugs and alcohol which is why the Academy is asking Hollywood to restrict tobacco and drug use in television and films that are directed at younger audiences. “Unlike traditional advertising, media depictions of legal drugs are generally positive and invite no criticism, because they are not viewed as advertising,” the Academy claims. Society needs to work together on smoking, drug, and alcohol prevention; kids that start experimenting with those substances are much more prone to addiction.Ban

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