According to a report on Abc.net.au the state government is considering banning the promotion of alcohol on grocery store receipts.
Big supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles could be forced to stop advertising alcohol on the receipts they issue to customers if new legislation is passed banning the practice.
The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) has requested both Coles and Woolworths show just cause of why they should be allowed to continue advertising alcohol and alcohol promotions on grocery store receipts. Apparently the concern has arisen out of the advertising of alcohol promotions such as buy one get one free being advertised on receipts, which many fear may contribute to alcohol harm.
The government says that alcohol promotions, such as two for the price of one deals have been proven to contribute to problem drinking especially among young people and as we know alcohol related issues affecting young people has become a big problem in the state.
Read what Abc.net.au goes on to explain:
The New South Wales Government says it is considering banning supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles from promoting alcohol on grocery store receipts.
The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing says it has asked both companies to “show cause” as to why the practice should not be banned.
Greens MP John Kaye wrote to the office in January after one of his constituents raised concern about the ads, which are usually ‘buy one get one free’ offers for wine.
He says it has taken far too long for them to respond.
“We wrote to the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing and initially they did nothing,” he said.
“The O’Farrell Government has sat on its hands while the supermarket chains have been pushing alcohol promotion deals on grocery dockets.
“The overwhelming body of research show these two-for-one deals create more problem drinking, particularly among young people.”
The issue of alcohol advertising and promotions and their effect on young people in particular has been a prevalent issue as of late. Recently there have been numerous studies, including the one by Professor Sandra Jones from the University of Wollongong , which support the government’s position. Prof Jones and others support banning alcohol advertising and promotions such as these which many say “push” young people into binge drinking and alcohol related harm.
Alcohol advertising has become a contentious issue in NSW and throughout Oz. Many believe that alcohol advertising is not to blame for the alcohol related problems being experienced, but others say that advertising and promotions encourage people to drink.
Even the NSW Cancer Council has submitted to government that banning alcohol promotions may help to alleviate excessive alcohol consumption and the subsequent health problems that it can cause. According to the NSW Cancer Council alcohol increases cancer risk and is in fact responsible for about 5,070 cases of cancer in Australia each year.
But will banning alcohol advertising and tightening the reins on alcohol promotions actually make a significant contribution to minimising alcohol induced problems in Oz or does more need to be done to change the problematic drinking culture which seems to have become so acceptable among the population and particularly among young people.
One of the best ways to bring about change without too much inconvenience and upheaval is to enforce Responsible Service of Alcohol laws. The measures are already in place to minimise alcohol harm, members of the industry and those in a position to serve alcohol just need to enforce the RSA laws already place and we will probably see a decline in the number of binge drinkers, alcohol abusers and alcohol related crimes.