By Asmau Ahmad
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for a globally enhanced regulation of the digital marketing of alcohol.
The agency made this disclosure in a release published on its website on Tuesday.
It added that alcohol consumption was capable of robbing young people of their lives and potential.
According to WHO, the rise in sophisticated online marketing techniques for alcohol has perilously exposed the often-targeted heavy drinkers and young people, to certain health risks associated with alcohol consumption.
“Alcohol robs young people, their families, and societies of their lives and potential. Yet, despite the clear risks to health, controls on the marketing of alcohol are much weaker than for other psychoactive products.
“Better, well-enforced, and more consistent regulation of alcohol marketing will both save and improve young lives across the world,” it stated.
It noted that globally, three million people die each year due to the harmful use of alcohol – one in every 10 seconds, representing about five per cent of all deaths recorded.
“A disproportionate number of these alcohol-related deaths occur among younger people, with 13.5 per cent of all deaths among those who are 20–39 years of age being alcohol-related.
“The lack of regulation to address cross-border marketing of alcohol is of particular concern for children and adolescents, women, and heavy drinkers.
“Studies have shown that starting to drink alcohol at a young age is a predictor of hazardous drinking in young adulthood and beyond. These teenage drinkers are more susceptible to health risks from alcohol consumption than older drinkers,” WHO said.