Drying Out NYC, de Blasio Bans Booze Ads on City Property

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio testifies in Albany during a Feb. 11, 2019, joint legislative budget hearing regarding local government. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

(CN) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an executive order Tuesday that bans alcohol advertising on all city property. 

Effective immediately, the ban applies to bus shelters, newsstands, phone booths and recycling kiosks. Existing ads will be allowed to remain in these places until their contract is ended.

Restaurants, stadiums and concert venues that are permitted to sell alcohol are excluded from this ban. 

“In New York City, we see far too many deaths related to alcohol,” Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said in a statement on the order. “Today’s ban of alcohol ads on city property will help protect communities from the burden of harmful alcohol advertising.” 

In 2016 the city recorded 2,000 deaths from causes attributable to alcohol, such as liver disease and driving, and said 110,000 went to the emergency room for alcohol-related problems. 

“Alcohol advertisements can influence how much alcohol people drink and how young they are when they start,” Herminia Palacio, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services said in a statement.

The New York Academy of Medicine studied this trend as well, reporting in 2017 that high exposure to alcohol advertisements can lead to an increased likelihood of alcohol consumption, particularly among youth.

De Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray said that irresponsible advertising worsens whatever alcohol problems plague New York.

“Today, New York City is taking a stand to protect the health and well-being of all of our communities,” McCray said in a statement. 

The city says East Harlem has five times the rate of alcohol-related hospitalizations than the Upper East Side. 

Among those critical of de Blasio’s new policy is the Distilled Spirits Council. 

“The research is clear – parents and other adults are the most influential factors in a youth’s decision whether or not to drink alcohol, not advertising,” Distilled Spirits Council Vice President Jay Hibbard said. “In fact, in New York underage drinking has declined by more than 35 percent over the last 10 years and binge drinking is at an all-time low.” 

New York City joins other cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco that have similar advertising bans. Cities like Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., meanwhile have all repealed their public transit alcohol advertising bans. 

Last January the board of the Metropolitan Transportation put a ban on advertising alcohol on all city buses, subway cars and stations.

%d bloggers like this: