Iceland Considers Allowing Alcohol and Tobacco Ads

The Ministry of Education and Culture is considering lifting the ban on advertising alcohol and tobacco products, RÚV reports. A majority of the committee on independent media proposed the change, publishing a report on the matter this past January. The committee states the advertisements could present a large source of income for independent media in Iceland.

Minister of Education and Culture Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir says the ministry is considering how the ads would impact media. “Of course, I think the most important thing regarding these ads is when we make a decision that we have a public health perspective as our guiding principle,” she added.

Rafn M. Jónsson, project manager for alcohol and drug abuse prevention at the Icelandic Directorate of Health, is against the proposal. “There are big agencies which monitor this and advertisements and marketing of alcohol has the effect of increasing consumption, that’s very clear.” Rafn points out that lifting the existing ban would run counter to trends across Europe tightening regulations.

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