Kids are pressed toward alcopops

I write with reference to “Alcopops are tops with kids, survey claims”, (MW 1 November).

Are we supposed to be truly surprised by this claim? Ever since the release of alcopops they have received an enormous amount of negative publicity with regard to their teenage appeal. Surely this has a “reverse-psychology” effect on the inquisitive and daring nature of the average teenager, who enjoys rebelling against the morals of our society. Anything carrying an “immoral” tag has an immediate appeal.

Music is another example of this. If a record is banned form the air-waves, the controversy that surrounds it sends the record straight into the top ten, if not to number one.

I think alcopops are a refreshing alternative to the alcohol market and to ban them for supposedly encouraging teenage drinking would be wrong. The problem lies neither with the manufacturers of these drinks nor the teenage consumer market. Instead the problem lies with the constant press harassment of alcopops and with the off-licences nationwide who are selling these drinks to a very under-age market. It is they who need to be scrutinised for encouraging teenagers to drink alcohol.

Alcopops are a wonderful and imaginative invention and they’re here to stay – I hope!

Jacqui Smith

Leicester LE1

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