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Nacada bans billboards promoting alcohol near schools

 Nacada Chief Executive Officer Anthony Omerikwa. [George Njunge, Standard]

National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) has called for the removal of billboards promoting alcoholic drinks near learning institutions.

Through a statement, Nacada expressed concern over the increased promotion of alcoholic drinks and alcohol use through billboards erected near schools in the country.

"This is observed to be happening, despite the law proscribing advertisements that are misleading or deceptive or that are likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects, health hazards, or social effects of the alcoholic drink," said Nacada Chief Executive Officer Anthony Omerikwa.

Dr Omerikwa argued that exposure to outdoor alcohol advertising predisposes youth intentions to alcohol saying that the current age of initiation to alcohol use in the country is seven years.

"In line with the Alcoholic Drinks Promotions Regulations, Nacada is under the relevant provisions of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 coordinating with relevant stakeholders in the country to enforce measures that will remove all the billboards near learning institutions. These enforcement activities will involve all respective national and county government authorities," said Dr Omerikwa.

According to Nacada, schools should be secure environments that foster learning and personal growth, free from any influences that may contribute to harmful behaviour.

"The presence of alcohol advertisements near educational institutions, therefore, undermines these endeavours by normalising the consumption of alcohol and portraying it as an appealing and glamourous choice," said Omerikwa.

To protect the youth from the negative impacts of alcoholic marketing, the authority is calling on advertising agencies and businesses to exercise social responsibility by not erecting alcohol advertisements near learning institutions.

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