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City Life and traffic on Manhattan avenue ( Ladies' Mile Historic District) at daylight , New York City, United States. Toned image.

New York Pushes To Ban Alcohol Ads

You may not realize it, but in major cities like Philadelphia, San Francisco and even our own home turf of Los Angeles, alcohol ads are becoming less frequent on urban streets. The truth of the matter is, that’s a conscious effort to limit enticing billboards and posters that encourage drinking. And now one of the biggest cities in the world, New York, is following suit.

Local mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced an alcohol advertising ban (via Executive Order) on all New York City-owned property; such as bus shelters, newsstands, phone booths and wifi kiosks. Plus, to emphasize the point even more; he made that move effective immediately.

Shortly thereafter, de Blasio received acclaim from recovery advocates and health orgs; particularly because of the revenue these type of advertisements generate. Per The Fix website, it is reported that alcohol campaigns bring in roughly $3 million annually for the city. So choosing to cut that type of income is a bold and admirable step.

As de Blasio told the press after ordering the ban, the benefits to New Yorkers far outweigh any type of profit.

“There’s no doubt that far too many New Yorkers struggle with serious substance misuse issues, among them excessive drinking,” he explained. “We know exposure to alcohol advertising can lead to drinking more alcohol, more often behavior that can be harmful and even fatal.”

The motion was also accompanied with some jarring stats about NYC citizens. In 2016, for example, there were more than 110,000 alcohol-related ER visits in the city. Not only that, there were also 2,000 deaths that year related to alcoholism and drunk driving.

And let’s be honest; these types of ads often glorify drinking. For impressionable young people, seeing extravagant party scenes and free flowing booze can seem quite enticing. So, in our opinion, removing that type of imagery from city streets is a very good move.

The city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (or MPA) stands by the measure as well, taking action to remove similar ads from their buses, subways and underground stations.

De Blasio’s wife, NYC first lady Chirlane McCray, also spoke out to show her support. “Too many people in our city struggle with excessive drinking, and irresponsible advertisements for alcohol make the problem worse―especially when they target communities of color,” she added. “Today, New York City is taking a stand to protect the health and well-being of all of our communities.”