The federal government’s drug and addiction commissioner is pushing for more extensive restrictions on alcohol advertising and more protection for minors in Germany. “In order to finally put a stop to the existing proliferation of alcohol and tobacco offerings, we need much stronger and very clear guardrails, for example when it comes to advertising restrictions,” said Burkhard Blienert to the German Press Agency. The handling of alcohol is too lax in Germany.

Warnings on labels, like those that EU member Ireland wants to introduce in 2026, are a step in the right direction. “Information about risks and possible health hazards is certainly a good building block in Ireland as well as here to educate people about how unhealthy even small amounts of alcohol are,” said Blienert. But that’s not enough. Warnings often only targeted one group, such as pregnant women. He also thinks France’s approach of pointing out risks in alcohol advertising is good.

Discussion about the age limit when purchasing alcohol

Advertising plays a key role in determining whether and how many people become aware of alcohol. This also applies to people who already have a significant addiction problem and are therefore even less able to protect themselves. Alcohol advertising must first and foremost be stopped where children and young people in particular notice it: on social media, on the Internet, in prime television and radio broadcasts until 11 p.m. He is also concerned with content restrictions.

In order to enforce stricter regulations in this legislative period, Blienert said he was in talks with, among others, Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus and Federal Minister for Agriculture Robert Habeck. He also wants the age limit for purchasing alcohol to be raised from the current 16 years. The addiction officer believes that the regulation that young people aged 14 and over are allowed to drink alcohol in the presence of their parents should be abolished.