Ministries announce new efforts to reduce alcohol and drug abuse ({{commentsTotal}})

Though unpopular with residents, the new needle exchange in Sitsi Street would make the area safer, ministry officials said.
Though unpopular with residents, the new needle exchange in Sitsi Street would make the area safer, ministry officials said.

The Ministry of Social affairs submitted a memorandum to the government on Monday calling for a reduction or ban of alcohol advertising on the Internet. On Tuesday, the Ministry of the Interior also announced that they would create a new work group on drug prevention.

The work group will round off the existing government commission for drug prevention led by Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur (Reform). The Ministry of Social Affairs' memorandum, submitted by Minister of Health and Labor Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE), called for a reduction of advertising on social media as well.

Reducing and regulating alcohol advertising online

"The Ministry of Social Affairs has started drawing up proposals to reduce the amount of alcohol advertising on the Internet, analyzed studies, familiarized with Finland's regulations regarding the matter, and consulted with information technology specialists," Ossinovski's memorandum stated.

The minister sees three possible angles: Fully banning online ads, banning online ads with the exception of alcohol producers' websites, and only allowing alcohol advertising on websites that require the user to state their age to see them.

The memorandum also suggested drawing up regulations for the advertising of alcoholic drinks on social media.

If the government should decide to move towards restricting advertising, the task of drawing up the necessary legislation would then be in the competence of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication.

A new work group on drug prevention

The government commission for drug prevention, led by Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur (Reform), will be extended by a work group of experts. The Ministry of the Interior announced on Tuesday that the group would to bring together representatives of social and healthcare services as well as the police and criminal investigators, as well as relevant service providers and other interest groups. The first meeting of the work group is scheduled for April.

The current aim of Estonian drug prevention policy is to permanently reduce drug abuse as well as its damaging impact on society. This included finding a balance of measures in the areas of drug supply, demand, and mitigating the effects of drug abuse, the ministry’s press release stated.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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