Cabinet Throws Out Alcohol Ban Bill

Some Estonians are pledging to go alcohol free in September as part of an online campaign. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Cabinet did not support an absolute ban on alcohol advertising in a June 9 meeting.

The bill, which was proposed by the opposition Centre Party, would affect TV, radio and outdoor advertising.

Minister of Culture Rein Lang and Minister of Education Jaak Aaviksoo opposed the universal ban, saying that the prohibition would not work because of re-broadcasted television programs from other countries, which would not comply with the reform.

Opponents of the measure said that it would not have the desired affect because companies selling alcohol are huge clients of the advertising industry, and that Estonian TV channels might simply drop their local license as a result and begin broadcasting under international licenses.

The bill did, however, win the support of the agriculture minister, Helir-Valdor Seeder, who said that Estonia needs to take extra measures to reduce binge drinking.

In February, the World Health Organization ranked Estonia sixth in the world for alcohol consumption.


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