Chairman of the Media Alliance in Tobacco Control, Jeorge Wilson Kingson, has asked media organisations not to consider only the monetary gains in alcohol advertisement, saying they have to look at their social responsibility to the public.
He said despite the gains in alcohol advertisement, the media should try and seek the interest of the public as well.
The call follows the release of the situational analysis of alcohol use in Ghana which indicates that 15 per cent of individuals who end up drinking alcohol are influenced by alcohol advertisement through the media.
“Some of the things that influence people into drinking alcohol are mostly peer pressure and advertisement,” he stated.
According to the report, 28 per cent of Ghanaians who drink alcohol are influenced by peer pressure.
This was revealed at the media advocacy and awareness creation training in Accra organised by Ghana Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (GhNCDA).
Head of Food Industrial Support Services Department of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Kofi Essel, said the FDA is putting in place administrative guidelines on food and beverage advertising and the National Alcohol Control Policy to have an effective policy framework in regulating alcohol use.
Lead Consultant, Dr. Michael Boachie, suggested that alcohol taxation must be proportional to increasing incomes of Ghanaians, to ensure that alcoholic products do not become relatively cheaper as individuals get richer.
“The media should also help advocate and spread awareness on the health effect of alcohol drinking, and parents should also restrict their children from these ‘blue kiosk’ around so they do not get access,” he stated.
National Coordinator of NCD Alliance, Labaran Musah, said the alcohol industry’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) is making the alcoholic brands and products popular, and increasing consumption, which literally contradicts public health interest.
“The motive of the alcohol industry is to maintain its clientele base and recruit new customers (children especially) to guarantee maximum profit from the sale of alcohol product,” he stated.
BY Hudda Bala Abdul Manan