Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) has published new guidance in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The aim of the guidance is to reduce risks and ensure continued support for people with alcohol-related problems in the context of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic with national advice and guidance updated regularly, and this guidance is intended to support and not contradict or replicate any local contingency plans that are in place.
Today we are celebrating World Cancer Day (4th February) and the launch of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The contribution of alcohol to a range of cancers needs to be better recognized. According to Eurobarometer study (2010) one in five (21%) do not believe there is an association between drinking and cancers, and roughly one in ten (12%) do not know even though the first conclusive links were established in 1987. By 2035, there will be a doubling of cancer cases and 40% of all cancers can be prevented if we implement what we already know.
In 2019, in cooperation with Balearic Islands government Eurocare has organised two events addressing the issue of alcohol related problems in tourist setting. One event took place in Palma and other in Brussels.
It is with great pleasure that we welcome the steps taken by the Balearic Islands government to limit the harm caused by alcohol.
World Health Organization announced the 7th of February 2020 a draft decision to support the implementation of the strategy to reduce harmful drinking from 2010. The draft decision calling for “accelerating action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol” was proposed by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam supported by civil society groups during WHO intergovernmental meetings
Wine glasses have doubled in size since 1990. A mega-analysis with data by the University of Cambridge has found that bigger wine glasses leads us to drink more alcohol in restaurants. The findings support calls to limit the size of wine glasses to reduce alcohol-related harm.
Measured through sales data, overall alcohol consumption averaged 8.9 litres per person across OECD countries in 2017, down from 10.2 litres in 2007 (Figure 4.4).
Lithuania reported the highest consumption (12.3 litres), followed by Austria, France, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Ireland, Latvia and Hungary, all with over 11 litres per person. Turkey, Israel and Mexico have comparatively low consumption levels (under 5 litres per person).
Among key partners, consumption was relatively high in the Russian Federation (11.1 litres) and low in Indonesia, India, Costa Rica and Colombia (less than 5 litres). Average consumption fell in 27 OECD countries between 2007 and 2017, with the largest reductions in Israel, Estonia, Greece and Denmark (by 3 litres or more). Consumption also fell markedly in the Russian Federation (by 7 litres). However, alcohol consumption increased by more than 1 litre per person in China and India, and by over 0.5 litres per person in Chile.
The European Union should introduce a zero-tolerance drink-driving limit in 2020 as part of a package of measures to help prevent up to 5,000 alcohol-linked road deaths every year, according to the European Transport Safety Council, authors of a new report.
In January, nearly thirty associations and actors working in the field of addiction and health launch the January Challenge: a challenge that every French person is invited to take up after the festive season, to take a break from alcohol consumption and see the benefits for his or her body.
There is a need for clarity on the most important interventions and implementations strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm. WHO, as the primary norm-setting health agency, should lead this initiative. It might be timely to consider a Framework convention on alcohol.
In Europe, people continue to consume more alcohol than in any other place in the world
A recent WHO report shows that rates of harmful alcohol consumption in Europe have not dropped as expected, even though all countries have signed the European Action Plan to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol 2012–2020.
The “Status report on alcohol consumption, harm and policy responses in 30 European countries 2019”, which uses data gathered from 2010 to 2016, shows that over 290 000 people lose their life in Europe per year from alcohol-attributable causes, and urges stronger policy action by countries to help reduce the numbers.
Since 2013 a new phenomenon can be observed in Poland, the so called ‘monkeys’. It is a colloquial name for spirits sold in 100ml or 200 ml bottles. They are colourful and come in various tastes, in 2017 there were 40 taste varieties of ‘monkeys’. It is estimated that daily 3 million people buy them in Poland. Yearly, over 1 billion ‘monkeys’ are sold.
After nine very successful European conferences on the topics of alcohol, tobacco control, youth health and social marketing for health promotion, the International Youth Health Organization is happy to announce the 1st NCD Youth Conference, which will happen in Portorož, Slovenia between 6th and 9th of December 2019.
According to a new WHO report, alcohol consumption in Russia has plunged by more than 40% between 2003-2016, and life expectancy has dramatically increased due largely to a set of comprehensive alcohol control measures put in place by the state.
The report, Alcohol Policy Impact Case Study: The effects of alcohol control measures on mortality and life expectancy in the Russian Federation, shows that total per capita consumption has been declining since 2003 and dropped by 43% until 2016, with a 40% decline in recorded consumption and a 48% decline in unrecorded consumption - alcohol produced and sold outside of governmental control.
EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc opened the meeting stating the urgent need to push harder for safe roads. 25.000 deaths yearly are unacceptable. The EU commits to reducing deaths and for the first time serious injuries by 50% by 2030. The vision for 2015 is zero.
Several cities across Europe participated in the roundtable, all with a positive commitment towards zero deaths on the roads.
Eurocare reminded the audience of the need to tackle risk factors like alcohol. Around one accident of four are linked to alcohol consumption. Drink driving remains the second biggest killer on EU roads. The principle of zero tolerance for drink driving should inform policy – with adequate enforcement using random checks and breath testing.
Health is a prerequisite for sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We recall our commitment to moving towards achieving universal health coverage according to national contexts and priorities. We look forward to the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
On behalf of SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems) and Eurocare (The European Alcohol Policy Alliance) we are delighted to publish this summary
of discussions that took place during the 8th European Alcohol Policy Conference (8EAPC) at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Scotland, on 20th and
21st November 2018. This was the eighth in a series of very successful European Alcohol Policy Conferences (Warsaw 2004, Helsinki 2006, Barcelona 2008,
Brussels 2010, Stockholm 2012, Brussels 2014 and Ljubljana 2016).
Civil society organisations from across sectors, such as health, development, environment, food, agriculture, social affairs, trade, have developed a Guide & Phone book on how newly elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) can improve people's health in Europe and beyond by ensuring the implementation of a Health in All Policies approach.
A new WHO report presents an evaluation of progress on the Action Plan on Youth Drinking and on Heavy Episodic Drinking (Binge Drinking) (2014–2016). It points out that while important efforts have been made to reduce youth and binge drinking in the WHO European Region, better monitoring and support for implementing evidence-based policies are needed to accelerate progress.
The “Monitoring of national policies related to alcohol consumption and harm reduction” project (MOPAC) held its final meeting in Edinburgh on 19 November, where it presented its findings, which indicate that the harm caused by alcohol is still significant, and that reducing it will require increased efforts.
Recently, the STAD in Europe manual was published. This manual describes how to tackle alcohol related problems by decreasing alcohol service to underage and intoxicated people through the Swedish “STAD-approach”.
STAD is a cost effective community approach that has been running in Sweden for over 20 years and is now being implemented in other EU countries.
This manual is the result of the STAD in Europe project that experimented with implementing the STAD approach in several EU countries and settings. The manual summarises the lessons learned from these seven pilot implementations.
The manual is available as free download at http://stadineurope.eu/resources/sie-manual/
The Balearic Government, European Alcohol Policy Alliance, IREFREA, The Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and University of the Balearic Islands had the pleasure to host Rethinking Your Travel - An Open Debate, on 13th February 2019 in Palma, Mallorca.
After the overwhelming success of the previous years, De DrugLijn and the Foundation against Cancer are again joining forces for a new 'Tournée Minérale'. The campaign calls on all Belgians to say 'no' to alcohol in February, for the first time or again.
Les consommations d’alcool sont à l’origine de 41 000 décès par an en France, une mortalité évitable largement supérieure à celle observée dans nombre d’autres pays européens.
Alors que la consommation d’alcool ne baisse plus depuis 5 ans, l’ANPAA appelle le Gouvernement à promouvoir une politique de réduction des risques sanitaires et des dommages sociaux enfin à la hauteur de l’enjeu.
Many lives could be saved by redoubling efforts to prevent unhealthy lifestyles. Some 790 000 EU citizens die prematurely each year from tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption (70.212 people), unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity. Policies to control tobacco and harmful consumption of alcohol or to halt obesity therefore need to be actively pursued.
The Irish Public Health (Alcohol) Bill presents a set of measures to prevent alcohol related harm, which follow latest evidence base in the field of alcohol policy and recommendations of the World Health Organization.
A new WHO report, Adolescent alcohol-related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014, provides new insights into data collected over 12 years on adolescent drinking.
Alcohol Action and European Alcohol Policy Alliance welcome the passing of the Public Health Alcohol Bill by Dáil Éireann and look forward to its enactment shortly after its final reading before Seanad Éireann.
In public health sector, ANPAA as all the civil society actors face continuously powerful lobbies (agri-food, tobacco, alcohol…). Agnès Buzyn, Minister for Solidarity and Health and scientist, was even forced to backtrack when she said on TV that wine was alcohol like the others. Why such a turnaround? Because Audrey Bourolleau, the Agriculture Adviser of the President Macron, is also the former Executive Director of the lobby Vin & Société.
Fit to Fly, by the Institute of Alcohol Studies and the European Alcohol Policy Alliance, found that the majority (51%) of Brits believe there is a serious problem with excessive alcohol consumption in air travel. Drunk passengers who become aggressive on planes threaten the safety of other passengers, including children. Cabin crew have reported being sexually assaulted, kicked, punched and headbutted by drunk passengers.
Dat de universiteit, de ziekenhuizen en de stad initiatieven ondersteunen op vlak van gezondheid en alcoholgebruik is zeker welkom. De rol van de alcoholindustrie daarin roept echter vragen op.