The Czech Ministry of Health is currently taking steps to restrict alcohol and cigarette consumption. Following the WHO, OECD and the global society survey data showing that the first alcohol and/or cigarette consumption comes with 12 years of age (in the Czech Republic, some surveys show even 9 years of age), the Ministry prepared a bill to increase the excise duty on alcohol by 13% which should be followed by a bill on advertising of alcohol. The bill should cover both TV and digital media and it should be inspired by similar legal regulations abroad, such as in Sweden. The national drug coordinator who closely cooperates with the Ministry of Health on this matter, said that advertising of alcohol should only be possible between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and it should be accompanied by a health warning. The bill should be completed by the end of this year and subsequently submitted for approval in the legislative process.
The Health Minister said that enlightenment in this field and regulation of its advertising are necessary for successful limitation of alcoholism and alcohol consumption in the future (Czechs are one of the most passionate drinkers in the world). Unlike tobacco products, where advertising is generally prohibited by law (adverts and sponsoring of tobacco products, the purpose of or direct or indirect effect of which is advertising of tobacco products, are prohibited), the field of alcohol advertising is much less regulated. The law currently limits only its contents – for example, it cannot encourage excessive consumption of alcohol, claim that alcohol has medical qualities, relaxing or stimulative effect, or create the impression that consuming alcohol positively affects social or sexual success. Aside from the above, alcohol may be advertised using any possible way, including the offer of free samples.