By Josephine K. Tarawaelie.
In commemoration of this year’s ‘NO Alcohol Day’ on 3rd October 2018, Sierra Leone Alcohol Policy Alliance (SLAPA) has called for a ban on alcohol advertising in all professional sports in the country.
According to a joint press release from FoRUT and SLAPA, this year’s campaign highlights the threats that alcohol advertising in sports poses to children and the future generation. The release further called on government to take concrete steps towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3.5 by banning alcohol advertising in all sports in Sierra Leone.
“Alcohol is one of the most heavily promoted products in the world…Alcohol advertising contributes to the normalization of alcohol use and reinforces the harmful drinking culture that currently exists in most parts of the world”, they noted.
It was also disclosed that alcohol sponsorship of sports has an impact on both players and spectators. The release added that it is associated with hazardous drinking by those playing sports and communicates strong messages about alcohol brands and drinking that are absorbed by children.
“Alcohol is responsible for 3.3 million deaths annually worldwide, and is a causative factor in more than 200 diseases and injury conditions …Globally; the level of harm attributable to alcohol use is close to that of tobacco and its affects the young in particular, leading to death and disability for males in between the ages of 15 and 24… Globally, 6.2 % of all male deaths are attributable to alcohol, compared to 1.1 % of female deaths”, they lamented.