WSTA backs top doctor's alcohol advice

Calls for parents to steer their children clear of alcohol until the age of 15 have been welcomed by trade leaders.

Chief medical officer Liam Donaldson has made the recommendation, and criticised families who allow children to drink watered-down wine.

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: “We welcome the chief medical officer’s clear guidance. The role of parents is hugely important in instilling a responsible attitude to alcohol, especially as Government research indicates that the majority of 11-15-year-olds who have tried alcohol are getting it from their parents or other family members.

“Retailers are taking every step possible to prevent under-age sales. The Challenge 25 scheme, which requires anyone who looks under 25, to present proof of age if they wish to purchase alcohol, is driving down under-age sales.

“The chief medical officer’s views on minimum pricing are well known, but it would be totally wrong to suggest that pricing be used to address under-age drinking when it is illegal for someone under 18 to purchase and possess alcohol.”