2006-01-29

Intolerance & Stats: Girls and Drinking Problem

More Scottish girls regularly drink strong alcohol than young females in any other country, according to a study by 'The World Health Organization'. Almost 40 per cent of 15-year-olds admitted to drinking spirits each week, compared with 1 per cent in Russia and 7 per cent in The USA. Among 13 and 11-year-olds, only English girls drank more. The study, based on 'The WHO' surveys conducted in 35 countries between 2000 and 2001, said Scots girls get drunk for the first time at a younger age. On average, Scots have their first drink at 12 and get drunk for the first time a year later. A fifth of 13-year-olds in Scotland had been drunk more than once and 6 per cent of 11-year-old boys. Mr.Holger Schmid MD, the author of the report and one of the world's leading authorities on drink and drug abuse, has called for tough restrictions of alcohol advertising which he claims glamorises drinking among the young. He told 'The Sunday Times Newspaper':
'These figures are very serious and send a clear message that action is needed to address this problem.'
Mr.Schmid, vice-director of the Lausanne-based 'Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems', said:
'Scotland is ahead in the statistics and I hope the politicians have seen this as a good reason for action. 'Politicians should present a consistent alcohol policy. 'It is not consistent to restrict access to alcohol on the one hand while allowing alcohol advertising linked to sports and pictures that glamorise drinking in magazines. 'I would advocate a ban [on alcohol advertising] in sport to make drinking less glamorous. 'There is a large amount of research which shows that alcohol advertising is effective and millions of pounds are being spent on this promotion every year.'
' Scots girls 'drink most spirits'', BBC NEWS, 2006/01/29 00:05:26 GMT

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