The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says it has developed new principles for regional countries to consider in developing regulations for alcoholic consumption and related harms.

On Tuesday, PAHO said that “alcohol marketing regulation and monitoring for the protection of public health provides elements that governments can use to strengthen legal and regulatory frameworks that would help reduce or eliminate exposure to alcohol marketing”.

The organization noted that alcohol marketing is widespread in the Americas, including the Caribbean, with modern marketing techniques that go beyond traditional print and electronic media advertisements to include branded merchandise, sponsorships of sporting teams and events, discount pricing, social media, and sales or supply at educational or health establishments.

Substantial evidence now associates alcohol marketing with young people’s drinking behaviour, according to the PAHO publication and the scientific journal Addiction.

“Studies have found that the more young people are exposed to alcohol marketing, the more likely they are to start drinking earlier, and to drink more if they are already drinking,” PAHO said.

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