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New Delhi, Jun 26 (UNI) Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Manohar Singh Gill today demanded a complete ban on surrogate advertisements of alcohol in the media, especially on TV channels, arguing that ''nobody was fool enough not to understand the products they promoted.'' The Minister's remarks came at a function organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse.

Mr Gill said advertisements for alcoholic drinks on TV channels were being shown by calling the products ''soda'' which everybody, including children, understood what it really referred to.

During cricket matches, when the children were glued to TV, frequent promotion of alcoholic drinks in this garb, was really a matter of concern, and there should be ban on such advertisements, he said.

Mr Gill also called for creating awareness in the society, government departments and the media about the disastrous effects of drugs and alcoholic drinks on the individual, especially youth, and the society as a whole.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar said earlier, when traditional values prevailed, there was some self-restraint which worked as preventive mechanism for drug addiction, but with changing times, modernity and individualism had eroded those values.

She said the increasing stress on youth in today's globalised economy was another reason for their vulnerability to drug addiction.

Today's youth start earning a lot of money at a very young age which with easy availability of drugs puts them in risk of taking to drugs and alcohol as a means of relieving the stress of their demanding jobs, she added.

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