AN ALCOHOLIC from Merseyside has launched a petition to see supermarkets banned from using ‘pop up stands’ to market alcohol.
Michael Quinn, 27, said: “I am an alcoholic. It has come to my attention that supermarkets have alcohol products dotted around stores.
“As an alcoholic I believe that this is wrong and needs to be addressed. I was going to get some grapes and strawberries from a supposedly fruit and veg isle when I came across a pop up stand that was full of vodka bottles at the end of the isle.
“As I continued through the store I also realised that this wasn’t the only one - there a number of pop up alcohol stands that in my opinion and many others should not be there.
“I personally avoid the alcohol aisle due to me being an alcoholic and I strive every day to keep myself sober, so you can imagine how annoyed and anxious I was when I seen that major supermarket chains think it’s okay to be able to have pop up alcohol stands all over the store.
“As an alcoholic It is a daily battle to stay sober so when I go to the shops I do not want to be seeing pop up alcohol stands throughout the store. We live in a world where mental health is the hidden illness of our society and more and more people are suffering in silence and that major supermarket chains are not thinking about the impact you are having on people’s wellbeing by allowing yourselves to provide pop up stands of alcohol with in your stores, when there not even located by the supposedly alcohol aisles.
“I strongly suggest a rethink in to the layout of stores and would think that it is in the best interest of alcoholics like my self or people who struggle with alcohol effected illnesses to remove these pop up alcohol stands immediately - keeping to advertising alcohol with in the located alcohol aisles. “The fact that fruit and veg is a healthy option with in your store it’s beyond me why you would want to advertise alcohol around that area, when alcohol does the complete opposite of what those aisles have on the shelf.
“It’s major supermarket chains that are forcing alcohol into people’s minds when they most probably aren’t even thinking about a drink or have a drinking problem it’s just there, in front of them.
“In my support bubble, we say that staying always from triggers is vital to staying sober - for example, not attending anything that would put you in a situation of being tempted to drink.
“Long term use of alcohol increases the risk of developing a long list of health conditions including breast cancer, oral cancers, heart disease, strokes and cirrhosis of the liver. Research shows that a high intake can also damage our mental health, impair memory skills and reduce fertility. It is reported that 68.6% of men over the age of 12 drink or have drank alcohol, it’s also reported that 62.9% of women have done also. The figure that is the most concerning for me is that 358,000 admissions to hospital in 2018/19 where the main reason was due to drinking alcohol 6% higher than 2017/18 and 19% higher than 2008/09.
“Something has to be done and with the world in chaos due to COVID 19 and mental health on the increase I believe now is the time for big supermarket chains to stand up and support the wellbeing of customers.
“I am a big believer in standing up for what is going to help myself but also benefit others in the long term. Change how alcohol is advertised today and let the new generation lead the way.”
To sign the petition, go to https://www.change.org/Alcoholicstandup