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Putting families first for alcohol week

North Easterners are being urged to think about the impact that alcohol is having on families, particularly children, as part of national Alcohol Awareness Week 2011.

Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, is highlighting the dangerous impact that exposure to alcohol is having on children, especially through marketing and advertising. The alcohol industry currently spends £800m a year on marketing, leading young people to start drinking earlier and to consume more.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, explained: "Exposure to alcohol, be it though advertising, parental influence or by taking part in underage drinking is teaching children that drinking to excess is normal. We need to protect our children.

"Although more young people are choosing not to drink we still have a problem here in the North East, with the highest rate of under 18 alcohol related hospital admissions in England.  We need to support young people and help them make the right choices - and heavy promotion is not helping the issue.

"We are calling for parents across the region to support our campaign. Children and young people are suffering at the hands of alcohol and it's time to tackle the issues. We must prepare young people with the confidence and knowledge necessary to make an informed decision, long before they find themselves in a situation involving alcohol.

"We need to reduce the availability and affordability of alcohol and restrict the advertising of alcoholic products which is forming part of their everyday environment."

Alcohol Awareness Week runs from 14 - 21 November. For further information and to support the campaign visit

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