German government official wants alcohol, tobacco, gambling ads restricted

January 29, 2023 5:46 PM
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  • Associated Press
January 29, 2023 5:46 PM

BERLIN (AP) – The German government’s top anti-drugs official called Thursday for tough restrictions on advertising of alcohol, tobacco and sports betting in the country.

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Burkhard Blienert said about 150,000 people die in Germany each year as a result of alcohol and tobacco use, and an estimated one in eight adults has a gambling problem.

“We need a real paradigm shift, a change of thinking, when it comes to drugs and addiction policy,” he said, adding that no other European country is as laissez-faire when it comes to alcohol and tobacco as Germany.

Blienert said that, in a first step, alcohol advertising should be banned online, in social media, and on television and radio.

“Around the clock would be best, but at least during prime time,” he said.

Blienert also suggested that rules allowing children to drink alcohol from the age of 14 if their parents are present need to be changed.

Tighter restrictions on tobacco ads were also needed, he said, noting that they can still be displayed at supermarket checkouts and kiosks.

Blienert called for bans on advertising sports betting on TV, radio and the internet before 9 p.m., as is already the case with online casinos.