"Poles are not light drinkers it's the Eastern European model," said Krzysztof Brzozka, director of the State Agency for the Prevention of Alcohol Related Problems.
He said there are some people who don't like the bitterness of beer or other strong drinks who could take a dangerous liking to the lightness and sweetness of cider, which is currently consumed in only small quantities in Poland. For instance, young women could start drinking more, increasing the already high number of infants with fetal alcohol syndrome.
His agency, which is under the umbrella of the Health Ministry, is fighting the proposed change, which is to be debated in the Senate after it convenes in late September.
The Economy Ministry says it makes no sense to ban advertising cider when there is no similar ban on beer, which has a similar alcohol content.
The changes it has proposed to the so-called "law on educating about sobriety and counteracting alcoholism" are meant to help Polish farmers use the excess apples swamping the market due to the embargo that Moscow imposed weeks ago.
Poland is a major global apple exporter and had previously sent half its output to Russia.