Alkoholpolitik und Volksgesundheit

Archiv für Dezember 2011

NZ: Alcohol-price finding challenged

Dienstag 20. Dezember 2011 von htm

Research that claims lifting the price of alcohol will not curb binge drinking has been denounced by a leading alcohol health promotion group.

The research, from Australia’s Griffith University, found there was no significant change to the number of occasions people engaged in binge drinking when the price of liquor rose.

However, price rises did increase the number of days people went alcohol-free, while the the number of days people consumed between one and four drinks (non-binge drinking) also fell.

But Alcohol Healthwatch director Rebecca Williams said overall research had shown that price was one of the best tools available to reduce overall consumption and harm.

„Price is probably the sharpest tool in the shed as a mechanism for affecting harm. The overall research is very, very clear that it does target the things we need to target, which is the early drinking in young people, and the heavy drinking.“

The Law Commission recommendations on alcohol reform included a 50 per cent increase in excise tax, which would increase the price of alcohol by about 10 per cent on average.

The Griffith University research analysed household surveys of almost 80,000 people and asked them how their behaviour would change with a 1 per cent increase in the price of alcohol.

„There may be a need to broaden the net and better identify what policies can and cannot do and investigate alternatives to price increases,“ researcher Joshua Byrnes said.

Source: Alcohol Reports, 12/20/11) stuff.co.nz, 12/18/11

Comment: No wonder they didn’t find a significant change when asking about an increase of 1 per cent. Even a 10% increase could be too little.

Kategorie: adults, Alcohol taxes, Allgemein, Availability, Binge Drinking, consumption, Global, Parliaments / Governments, Politics, Prevention, Price, Research, societal effects, Statistics, Watchdogs, Youth | Keine Kommentare »

UK: From the archive, 19 December 1874: Unhealthy dwellings and intemperance

Dienstag 20. Dezember 2011 von htm

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 19 December 1874
Human beings, like animals, are greatly influenced by the conditions amidst which they exist. If we crowd animals together, limit their supply of air and sunlight, they become weak and irritable, they mope, sicken, and die. Man differs from animals in his greater impressionability and consequent greater capacity for enjoyment, as well as in his tendency to deteriorate under adverse conditions.

In nearly all our most populous districts it will be found that the people are surrounded by circumstances which are directly opposed to their comfort, health, and general well-being. What is most of all important is that women and children, those most susceptive to the action of deteriorative influences, are those who are most exposed. Take the case of the mothers of families in these localities. Restricted within the limits of small confined dwellings, which are so shut in on all sides that the invigorating rays of the sun seldom gain direct access; the air heavy with impurities; a life of care and anxiety, unrelieved by change or pleasurable incident; wearied by the monotonous aspect of all around them, worn by nursing and by toil, fretted by narrow means, pained by the cries or worried by the fractiousness of children, is it surprising that they lose their health, elasticity, good looks, cheery smiles, and interest in themselves and their families? Is it any wonder that, becoming spiritless, they lack neatness, allow their children and dwellings to become untidy and neglected? Is it then any wonder that the husbands of such women become petulant and unkind, or that their children become disrespectful? Is it any wonder that in this accumulation of misery these unfortunate women are easily persuaded to seek solace in the deceitful and seductive properties of gin or beer? A woman under such adverse circumstances languishes, whilst in beer she finds that which speedily raises her failing spirits, in wine or gin she renews her youth, and banishes melancholy. Need we be surprised that in tens of thousands of cases the women who reside amid conditions so adverse to health and to comfort slide into habits of drinking which only aggravate their misfortunes, making the craving for relief all the greater, until after a time the love of liquor becomes a consuming passion? …
(Source: Alcohol Reports, 12/20/11) The Guardian, Monday 19 December 2011
Comment: How the troubles begun.

Kategorie: Allgemein | Keine Kommentare »


Sonntag 18. Dezember 2011 von htm

Scientific Opinion of the Science Group of the European Alcohol and Health Forum

From the Foreword: The enormous burden of individual harm (often to those around the problem drinker as well as the drinker themselves) and aggregated lost productivity that are highlighted in the report should make it clear to all that inactivity is not an option and complacency will cost lives. We owe it to the populations we serve to use every opportunity that is founded in sound evidence to preserve and improve health and this report should lay the foundations of applying this to the workplace. But the workplace cannot be taken in isolation: just as work affects health and wellbeing beyond the workplace, so do many factors outside work, such as the price, availability and marketing of alcohol, or access to social programs and general healthcare reflect back on the health of the workforce. The Science Group believes that the European Commission across its various directorates has the potential to be a vital catalyst for good practice in this two-way process.
Professor Ian Gilmore
Chair, Science Group
From the Summary:
Impact of alcohol on the workplace and productivity
Globally, alcohol is the world’s number one risk factor for ill-health and premature death amongst the 25-59 year old age group, the core of the working age population. It is unsurprising, therefore that lost productivity costs feature as the dominant element in social costs studies arising from the harm done by alcohol (contributing to one half or more of the
total social costs). Becoming unemployed worsens alcohol-related harm, and heavy drinking, itself, leads to unemployment. Alcohol is a significant risk factor for absenteeism and presenteeism at work, largely in a dose response manner, with a relationship between societal and individual level of alcohol consumption and sickness absence. Although some studies have reported a positive impact of alcohol consumption on earnings, a proxy measure of productivity, a meta-analysis of relevant studies suggested that the relationship was an artefact. Often forgotten is the impact of drinkers on the productivity of people other than the drinker. An Australian study found this to be comparable in cost size as the lost
productivity costs of the drinkers themselves. The work place itself also impacts on alcoholrelated harm. Certain occupations (in particular bar staff and sea workers) are at particular risk, and, in general, stressful working environments increase the risk of alcohol-related harm.
(Source: Alcohol Reports, 12/18/11) ec.europa.eu, Sept. 2011
Comment: This report should be taken into account by all industrial leaders and governments. Especially interesting the part about the role of abstainers. It’s the same „artefact“ as we see in studies on alcohol and health.

Kategorie: adults, Advertising, Allgemein, Availability, Europaparlament / EU-Kommission, Global, Health, morbidity, mortality, Prevention, Price, Publications, Research, Social Costs, societal effects, Statistics, TOP NEWS, WHO, Workplace | Keine Kommentare »

UK: Protect children from alcohol misuse

Freitag 16. Dezember 2011 von htm

The health and social care provider Turning Point has said alcohol misuse within families is an escalating concern in its new report „Bottling it up: the next generation“. It says early screening and identification of families is needed urgently to prevent the ‘inter-generational cycle’ of alcohol misuse which blights the lives of children and undermines their life chances.

Up to 2.6 million children live with parents who drink at „hazardous“ levels and around 700,000 children are thought to live with dependent drinkers. As picked up in the Daily Express, pressure put on women to be „supermums“ was felt to be increasing alcohol use as a coping mechanism. Turning Point said more than 5,000 people who used their alcohol treatment services last year were parents.

The report says children of parents who misuse alcohol are more at risk of depression, anxiety and increased anger. Turning Point also highlighted JRF research which found that children who see their parents drunk are twice as likely to get drunk themselves. Children living with drinking parents are also more likely to experiment at an early age with alcohol and drugs, increasing the risk of their own later life substance problems.

In the report Turning Point call on the Government to place a duty on Local Authorities to develop strategies that take into account the harms to family life and children’s development. They also advocate the development of services which are more family focused and home-based, better liaison between adult and children’s services, and more information available to help affected children. … (Source: Alcohol Policy UK, 12/15/11)

Kategorie: Addiction, adults, Allgemein, Children, consumption, Education, Global, Health, Parents, societal effects, Treatment, Watchdogs, Youth | Keine Kommentare »

E: Alkohol, Sex, Graffiti – Barcelonas neue Bußgelder

Freitag 16. Dezember 2011 von htm

Die katalanische Mittelmeermetropole will nicht zum urbanen Ballermann werden. Jetzt sollen drastische Geldstrafen den Alkoholexzessen entgegenwirken.

Barcelona wird immer mehr das Opfer seines eigenen touristischen Erfolges. Mit Billigfliegern kommen die Besucher aus ganz Europa und USA, mieten sich in einem der zentral gelegenen günstigen Hostals, kleinen Pensionen oder neuen Low-Budget-Hotels ein. In den vergangenen zwei Jahrzehnten ist die Zahl der der Besucher (1990: 1,73 Mio. / 2010: 7,13 Mio.) und der Übernachtungen rasant gestiegen (1990: 3,79 Mio. / 2010: 14 Mio.).

Das typische Programm für Spaniens zweitgrößte Stadt: Ein bisschen Kultur, katalanische Küche, Shopping – und Amüsieren. Vor allem unter den jungen Besuchern gilt das Motto: Noch schnell ein paar Flaschen aus dem Supermarkt holen und die Party kann beginnen. Am besten gleich an den Rambles, Barcelonas berühmter Flaniermeile. Oder auf einem der lauschigen Plätze des Gotischen Viertels in der Altstadt. Da finden sich garantiert genügend andere zum Mitfeiern.

Und warum in eine Bar gehen, wenn die Stimmung auch draußen so gut ist? So denken viele. Nicht nur Fußballfans, alle möglichen feierfreudigen Jugendlichen (und auch solche fortgeschrittenen Alters) machen den öffentlichen Raum zum Open-Air-Club, trinken, entleeren zwischendurch ihre volle Blase an irgendeiner Hauswand – und hinterlassen Straßen und Plätze wie ein Schlachtfeld. …

Inzwischen ist die Stadtverwaltung tätig geworden. Wer sich in den Tourismus-Informationsstellen, Hotels oder größeren Geschäften von Barcelona umsieht, dem fallen seit einigen Monaten eigentümliche rote Faltblätter in mehreren Sprachen in die Hand: „Stop anstößige Verhaltensweisen – für eine gute Nutzung des öffentlichen Raums“ steht darauf.

Und hinter dem etwas umständlichen Titel verbirgt sich etwas, das man als Bußgeldkatalog bezeichnen könnte. Denn alle unerwünschten Verhaltensweisen sind mit einer entsprechenden Geldstrafe versehen. Zum Beispiel „Stop dem öffentlichen Genuss von Alkohol – 1500 Euro“, „Stop dem illegalen ambulanten Handel – 500 Euro“, „Stop dem Urinieren – 1500“ oder „Stop den Skates und Fahrrädern auf den nicht dafür bereitgestellten Orten – 1500 Euro“. … (Quelle: Google Alkohol News, 15.12.11) welt.de, 15.12.11

Kategorie: Allgemein, Feste und Feiern, Gewalt/Kriminalität, Internationales, Jugend, Konsumhaltung, Statistik, Verhältnis-Präv., Wirtschaft | Keine Kommentare »

French Teen Drinking Raising Serious Concerns

Dienstag 13. Dezember 2011 von htm

France, with a culture that embraces wine, is facing serious concerns about teenage binge drinking, NPR reports.

Many parents in France and other European countries permit their teens to drink alcohol at home. But new French pop-up street parties, organized through Facebook, are encouraging teens to drink shots of vodka, and are contributing to a growing problem of binge drinking among teens.

According to Bertrand Nalpas, who leads the Alcohol and Addiction Office at the French National Institute on Health and Medical Research, the number of French teenagers who drink heavily is on the rise. He estimates that about 20 percent of French 17-year-olds are drunk at least three times a month, even though new laws in France prohibit anyone under 18 from buying alcohol. … (Source: Join Together, 12/12/11)

Kategorie: Allgemein, Availability, Binge Drinking, Children, consumption, Global, Health, Legal Drinking Age, Parents, Youth | Keine Kommentare »

UK: IFS still favours taxation over minimum pricing

Freitag 9. Dezember 2011 von htm

The economics think-tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) have published a new report on Alcohol pricing and taxation policies. It echoes many of the findings from a report last year in which it suggested minimum pricing would transfer further profits to industry and retailers, therefore favouring increased taxation.

The new report however suggests the current alcohol taxation system is not optimal and a „sensible starting point would be to tax all alcohols at an equivalent rate per unit. Such a change would require policy action at the EU level which the Government should pursue.“ …

„…prefer higher and restructured alcohol taxes as an alternative to minimum pricing. At least with taxation the revenues flow to the Government rather than to the industry. Taxes that were more closely focused on the alcohol content of different products could also allow something closer to a minimum price to be introduced through the tax system, perhaps in tandem with a ban on below-tax sales.“

However Dr Petra Meier, who conducted the University of Sheffield modelling on pricing impacts has previously said both taxes and minimum pricing should be used to reduce alcohol-related harm as it should not be an ‚either or‘ argument. (Source: Alcohol Reports, 12/08/11) Alcohol Policy UK, 12/06/11

Kategorie: Alcohol industry, Alcohol taxes, Allgemein, Global, Politics, Prevention, Price, Publications, Research, societal effects, Watchdogs | Keine Kommentare »

CH: Der Ständerat stellt sich gegen das Präventionsgesetz:

Freitag 9. Dezember 2011 von htm

Er will nicht, dass die Massnahmen zur Krankheitsvorsorge und Gesundheitsförderung besser gesteuert und koordiniert werden. Mit 20 zu 19 Stimmen lehnte er es ab, die Detailberatung aufzunehmen. Die Vorlage geht damit zurück an den Nationalrat, der dem Gesetz zugestimmt hatte.

Im Ständerat obsiegten die Gegner aus den Reihen der Bürgerlichen. Sie betrachten das Gesetz als unnötig oder befürchten eine Einmischung in die Belange der Kantone. Prävention sei Privatsache und liege in der Eigenverantwortung eines jeden einzelnen, lautete der Tenor. Die Befürworter betonten vergeblich, es gehe lediglich um Koordination, nicht um neue Verbote oder Abgaben. (Quelle: Tages-Anzeiger, 8.12.11) parlament.ch, 8.12.11
unser Online-Kommentar: Erst wurde die fehlende Koordination bei den Präventionsbemühungen öffentlich kritisiert und jetzt will der Ständerat auf diese Koordination durch den Bund verzichten. Vielleicht ist es gut so. Der Bund steht ja derart unter dem Druck der verschiedensten involvierten Industrie-Lobbyisten, dass sowieso nichts Brauchbares herauskommen würde.

Kategorie: Allgemein, Gesundheit, Neues Präventionsgesetz CH, Politik, TOP NEWS, Verhältnis-Präv., Verschiedene | Keine Kommentare »

The Fraction of Cancer Attributable to Lifestyle and Environmental Factors in the UK in 2010

Donnerstag 8. Dezember 2011 von htm

This supplement provides up-to-date estimates of the numbers (and percentages) of new cancer cases in the UK that are attributable to factors that have been established by international consensus as potentially avoidable causes of the disease. It therefore offers a useful guide to the relative importance of different preventive interventions.

Excluded from consideration are factors that, although known to be effective in reducing the risk of numerically important cancers, do not offer acceptable or practical preventive strategies at present. Early and multiple childbearing (to prevent breast cancer) and the widespread use of anti-androgen drugs (to prevent prostate cancer) come under this category. What remains is a limited number of important factors that can, at least to some extent, be affected by personal or political choices. The most important among these is continuation of the significant reduction in tobacco exposure. Next in importance are reductions in obesity and in heavy alcohol consumption, and certain other dietary changes. Each of these four main strategies for cancer control would also substantially reduce the burden of other non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular, diabetic, renal and hepatic disease. … (Source: Alcohol Reports, 12/08/11) BJC British Journal of Cancer, 12/06/11
Comment: Today, a part of the Swiss parliament (chamber of the cantons) has refused to enter into discussion of a new law on prevention. Prevention should be private. The lobbyists have worked well. (Source: parlament.ch, 12/08/11)

Kategorie: Allgemein, Global, Health, morbidity, mortality, Non-communicable diseases, Prevention, Publications, Research, societal effects, Statistics | Keine Kommentare »

African women are non-drinkers

Mittwoch 7. Dezember 2011 von htm

81 per cent of African women report themselves to be non-drinkers, says data from the World Health Surveys. This is an important fact to take into account in planning of alcohol prevention strategies and policies.

In the latest round of the WHO World Health Surveys 40.739 women from 20 African countries were interviewed also about their alcohol drinking habits. Close to 34.000 reported lifetime abstinence from alcohol. This is 81 % of the respondents in the survey. The proportion of current alcohol drinkers ranged from 1% in Malawi to 20% in Burkina Faso.

Four researchers – Priscilla Martinez, Jo Røislien, Nirmala Naidoo and Thomas Clausen – have analyzed the data from the WHO survey and presented their results in an article published in BioMed Central. They point to the fact that “Alcohol use is an important factor in any woman’s health risk profile. Harmful patterns of alcohol consumption are strongly associated with increased morbidity and mortality”.

Read the full article here.

The conclusions of the article are: “A variety of drinking patterns are present among African women with lifetime abstention the most common. Countries with hazardous consumption patterns require serious attention to mitigate alcohol-related harm. Some similarities in factors related to alcohol use can be identified between different African countries, although these are limited and highlight the contextual diversity of female drinking in Africa”.

The researchers comment their findings by writing that the current situation with low prevalence of alcohol use among women represents an opportunity to establish and promote healthy drinking habits among the vast majority of African women. This would serve the public health of African countries far into the future.

At the same time the researchers sound a warning bell related to female drinking: “This effort would be particularly relevant and timely given the current expansion of the alcohol industry in Africa. Women are a large portion of the population available for recruitment into regular drinking and will also benefit from improved economic situations, creating a ‘perfect storm’ for an increase in alcohol use and related harm. Such circumstances and increases in hazardous drinking among women have already been observed in Brazil and India”.
(Source: Dag Endal on add-resources.org, 12/05/11)

Kategorie: adults, Alcohol industry, Allgemein, consumption, Development, Gender, Global, Health, Prevention, Research, Statistics, WHO | Keine Kommentare »

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