NCB welcomes government's bold move to set 'age and stage' medical guidance on young people's alcohol use
29 January 2009
NCB today warmly welcomes the release of the
government's public consultation on guidance and advice for young
people, parents and alcohol, which the charity hopes will provide
the clarity and support that children, young people and parents
need to manage alcohol use safely.
Within the new guidance and for the first time, the government
has offered guidelines on age related drinking. The Chief Medical
Officer advocates an alcohol free childhood as the healthiest and
best option. Those under 15 should not drink at all, and those aged
15-17 should never exceed the daily limits for adults of 2-3 units
for women and 3-4 units for men. For 15-17 year olds drinking
should be infrequent and never be more than once a week.
Joanne Butcher, Assistant Director of Well-Being at NCB,
commented: 'Society often gives confused messages about alcohol.
For example, on the one hand viewing drunken behaviour as amusing
and then reprimanding young people for drinking too much. The
Government has made a bold step in setting 'age and stage'
parameters for alcohol use by children and young people that should
help parents and young people to make informed choices. Government
can further strengthen this guidance by ensuring it makes the links
with wider public health initiatives that promote healthier
Joanne continues: 'We are delighted to see the government's
commitment to actively seek out the views of young people and
parents as part of the process. NCB is now calling for more
consideration to be given to the needs of the most vulnerable
children and families who need more tailored advice and support.
Currently the guidance provides important universal messages for
most parents, children and young people, but now Government needs
to go one step further by considering how to support those who need
it the most.'
Notes to Editors
1. NCB's mission is to advance the well-being of all children
and young people across every aspect of their lives. As a
membership and infrastructure support agency for the children's
sector in England and Northern Ireland, NCB provides essential
information on policy, research and best practice for our members
and the members of our wide range of partnership bodies, which
operate under our charitable status and are based in our London
headquarters. For further information visit http://www.ncb.org.uk/
For further information on NCB please contact:
Anna Tombs/Clare Lilley/Sarah Thorne - NCB Media Office
Tel: 020 7843 6045/6047/6359 Mobile: 07721 097033