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UK: Alcohol industry sheds a billion units to cut hospital admissions and 1,000 deaths

Montag 26. März 2012 von htm

A billion units of alcohol will be shed by the alcohol industry through an ambitious plan to help customers drink within guidelines, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced today.

The initiative, which is part of the Responsibility Deal, is being spearheaded by 34 leading companies behind brands like Echo Falls, First Cape and Heineken and will see a greater choice of lower strength alcohol products and smaller measures by 2015.

Market intelligence suggests consumers are increasingly looking for lower strength wines. In the past year, demand for lower and non-alcoholic beer has soared by 40 per cent across all retailers.

Key commitments include new and lighter products, innovating through existing brands and removing products from sale.

(Source: Alcohol Reports, 03/23/12)
Comment: Very interesting. The industry accepts that its products are responsible for hospital admissions and deaths. It admits to be able to lead the consumer to drink less dangerous products. Marketing works. Now we can wait again if the industry fulfills its promise.

Kategorie: Alcohol industry, Allgemein, Availability, consumption, drinking guidelines, Global, Health, morbidity, mortality, Parliaments / Governments, Politics, Prevention, Publications, safe level, societal effects | Keine Kommentare »

National alcohol strategy 2012: ‚Choice, Challenge and Responsibility‘ confirms minimum pricing for England

Freitag 23. März 2012 von htm

The rumours were true; the new Government Alcohol Strategy: Choice, Challenge and Responsibility confirms minimum pricing is to be brought in for England. Although the unit price is still to be set, in a press release the Prime Minister said „if it is 40p that could mean 50,000 fewer crimes each year and 9,000 fewer alcohol related deaths over the next decade.“

Al201103-coverThe strategy sets out key policies including:

a minimum unit price for alcohol;
banning the sale of multi-buy discount deals;
zero tolerance of drunken behaviour in A&E departments;
a late night levy to get pubs and clubs helping to pay for policing; and
improved powers to stop serving alcohol to drunks.

The strategy sets itself out as a plan to reduce binge-drinking in a bid to drive down crime and tackle health issues. The decision to introduce a minimum unit price means that alcohol will not be allowed to be sold below a fixed price per unit – a policy advocated by health groups and Alcohol Concern for a number of years. As the release states, it „will put an end to cheap white ciders, spirits and super-strength lagers“. It is expected to go out for consultation, with a possible introduction by 2014.

Launching the strategy, the Prime Minister said:

“When beer is cheaper than water, it’s just too easy for people to get drunk on cheap alcohol at home before they even set foot in the pub.

“[Minimum pricing] isn’t about stopping responsible drinking, adding burdens on business or some new kind of stealth tax – it’s about fast immediate action where universal change is needed.

“And let’s be clear. This will not hurt pubs. A pint is two units. If the minimum price is 40p a unit, it won’t affect the price of a pint. In fact, pubs may benefit by making the cheap alternatives in supermarkets more expensive.

“Of course, I know this won’t be universally popular. But the responsibility of being in government isn’t always about doing the popular thing. It’s about doing the right thing.

(Source: Alcohol Policy UK, 03/23/12)
our online-comment: Let’s hope the minimum price will be high enough and that the EU accepts it.
For a conservative government this is a strong signal. Other countries should follow.

See also comment by Eurocare, with which we fully agree.
See also „How significant is a minimum unit price for alcohol of 40p?“ by The Institute For Fiscal Studies.

Kategorie: Alcohol industry, Allgemein, Availability, consumption, drinking guidelines, Global, mortality, Parliaments / Governments, Politics, Prevention, Price, Publications, Research, societal effects, Statistics, Watchdogs | Keine Kommentare »

Brazil Leaders Revolt Against FIFA

Donnerstag 8. März 2012 von htm

A special committee of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies is expected to vote Tuesday on the “General Law of the Cup” (“Lei Geral da Copa”), but relations between the government and the head of the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) have completely melted down after macho comments by Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. Last month, Valcke stated “Alcoholic drinks are part of the FIFA World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate.”

Valcke caused an explosive response in Brazil when he stated on Friday: “You have to push yourself, get a kick up the backside and just deliver this World Cup.“ That arrogant comment led to a powerful response by Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo on Saturday, „In light of these statements, which are inadequate and unacceptable comments for any type of relationship, the Brazilian government… no longer accepts Secretary-General Valcke as an interlocutor.“ Brazilian presidential adviser Marco Aurelio Garcia added fuel to the fire Sunday, calling Valcke a loudmouth and a bum (“boquirroto” and “vagabundo”).

In an effort to reduce alcohol-related sports violence and protect public health in general, alcohol sales have been banned from football stadiums in Brazil since 2003. A World Health Organization study that included Brazil showed that about 46% of violent incidents seen in the emergency room were related to alcohol use. …
(Source: Alcohol Justice, 03/06/12)
See also press release by IOGT-International

PS Unfortunately, the special committee of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies has accepted the “General Law of the Cup”. It’s a shame! Now it is up to the parliament.

Kategorie: Advertising, Alcohol industry, Alerts, Allgemein, Availability, Events, Global, Parliaments / Governments, Politics, Prevention, societal effects, Sports, Watchdogs, Youth | Keine Kommentare »

Edinburgh Student Union Bans SABMiller beers

Donnerstag 23. Februar 2012 von htm

Students at the University of Edinburgh have banned the sale of SABMiller’s 200+ beer brands on campus after learning about the conglomerate’s business practices in some of the world’s poorest countries. According to the international advocacy group Action Aid, the world’s second largest brewer (with headquarters in London) has been dodging taxes in Africa for years. By shifting profits made in Africa into tax havens like Switzerland or the Netherlands, SABMiller can avoid paying taxes to the countries where it produces beer–countries that desperately need the revenue for basic public services such as education and healthcare. The University of Edinburgh student body’s move to ban SABMiller products sends a strong message to the company. Send your own message here.
(Source: Alcohol Justice, 02/23/12) studenttimes.org, 02/13/12
(We have reported on this issue before.)

Kategorie: Alcohol industry, Alerts, Allgemein, Availability, consumption, Development, Global, societal effects, Workplace, Youth | Keine Kommentare »

News coverage of alcohol’s harm may sway support for liquor-control laws

Donnerstag 23. Februar 2012 von htm

If people see news coverage of alcohol’s role in violent crime and fatal injuries, they may give more support to alcohol-control laws, according to a study in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. It’s estimated that drinking is involved in almost one third of deaths from accidents and violent crime. But the news reports on those deaths often make no mention of alcohol.

„People have some awareness of the social cost that alcohol can have,“ said the study’s lead author, Michael D. Slater, Ph.D., of Ohio State University in Columbus. „But only a small fraction of news stories on violent crime and non–motor vehicle accidents acknowledge the contributing role of alcohol.“ As a result, many people may not realize how often drinking contributes to accidents off the roadways, as well as to violence, Slater noted.

And that lack of awareness might dampen the public’s support for alcohol-control laws, such as the strict enforcement of underage-drinking laws or prohibitions on serving alcohol to intoxicated customers. …
(Source: Google alcohol news, 02/22/12) innovations-report.de, 02/22/12
Comment: It seems often as if it is the internal policy of medias not to show the role of alcohol. Uninformed people will not ask for stronger alcohol regulations. The alcohol industry is happy. We pay for the immense social costs and have the lack of quality of life.

Kategorie: Alcohol taxes, Allgemein, Availability, Global, Legal Drinking Age, Media, Parliaments / Governments, Politics, Prevention, Research, Social Costs, societal effects, Watchdogs, Youth | Keine Kommentare »

FIFA is forcing Brazilian government to change law

Samstag 21. Januar 2012 von htm

Press Release IOGT-International, 01/21/12
Fifa, football’s world governing body, keeps insisting that alcohol must be sold at all venues hosting matches in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Fifa even speaks of a right to sell beer. But alcohol is currently banned from Brazilian stadiums as part of measures to reduce violence in football and to improve public health in general. The country’s health minister has urged Congress to maintain the ban in the new “World Cup law”.

But Fifa is not willing to accept these arguments and Secretary-General Jerome Valcke says: “Alcoholic drinks are part of the Fifa World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate.”

“No, we do not excuse your arrogance,” says Mr. Sven-Olov Carlsson, President of IOGT International, “and we cannot accept that Fifa is willing to jeopardize the fun of the game, the safety of children and families and the positive social development in Brazilian society.”
“We suggest Fifa to take a good, hard look at its own Corporate Social Responsibility because words should be followed by deeds,” urges Mr. Carlsson.

Fifa writes on its webpage: “Ensuring that the game of football reflects the highest values of society is essential to Fifa. Through its regulations and actions on and off the pitch, Fifa fights negative influences on the game and ensures that the fundamental values are respected.”

A WHO study carried out in (among others) Brazil, showed that about 46% of violence-related cases included alcohol use. The study also demonstrated that violence related injuries increase with alcohol use. Global evidence shows that alcohol marketing, like sports sponsorship, causes earlier onset of alcohol use among youth and heavier alcohol use for those already consuming. All over the world, alcohol is an obstacle for development and human dignity. It is the socially the most harmful drug.

“That’s why IOGT International strongly supports the Brazilian Health Minister and calls on the Brazilian Parliament to keep football stadiums free from alcohol,” says Mr. Carlsson and continues:
“Football is about creativity and freedom. Alcohol is not. So, why does Fifa force them together and knowingly accept that people will suffer? For the profit? We demand from Fifa to take its own words seriously and put people before profit. Let’s set football free.”

Kategorie: Alerts, Allgemein, Availability, Children, consumption, Development, Documents, Events, Global, Parents, Parliaments / Governments, Personalities, Politics, Prevention, societal effects, Sports, Violence and crimes, Watchdogs, WHO, Youth | Keine Kommentare »

DK: Majority support raising drinking age

Mittwoch 11. Januar 2012 von htm

16-year-olds can currently buy beer and wine in stores, but must wait until they are 18 to be served in bars.
In an Opinion poll of 1,126 Danes conducted for Retail Institute Scandinavia, 73 percent said it was “a good idea” or “a very good idea” to forbid the sale of alcohol to individuals under 18.
Sharing that opinion was the health minister, Astrid Krag of the Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF).
“Danes’ high alcohol consumption is to blame for poor health and a lower life span, and especially among the younger population we have a problem that we must tackle,” Krag said to Berlingske newspaper. “Therefore, I’m happy to the see the opinion results and I believe that the age limit is one of the things we should adjust.” … (Source: Alcohol Reports – News, 01/09/12) theCopenhagenpost, 01/06/12

Kategorie: Allgemein, Availability, consumption, Global, Health, Legal Drinking Age, Parliaments / Governments, Politics, Prevention, Research, societal effects, Youth | Keine Kommentare »

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 »

TOP NEWS: EU: ALCOHOL, WORK AND PRODUCTIVITY

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 »

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 »

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