- Alcohol-specific deaths in Scotland increase
- Students as Change Agents
- Health charities call for action to save lives from Scotlands biggest killers
- Australian ministers agree to visible pregnancy warning
- Three quarters of Scots back new controls to help protect children from alcohol advertising
- More accurate estimates for the burden of Alcohol on the Ambulance Service: around 1 in 6 callouts in Scotland are alcohol related
- How can alcohol labels be improved to help people make informed consumption choices
- Health experts call for better alcohol labelling
- Young people and their views on alcohol marketing
- Lowest alcohol sales in Scotland for 26 years
- Minimum unit pricing has lasting impact study shows
- Euros renews call for action to protect children from alcohol sports sponsorship
- Current alcohol labelling of little relevance to young adult drinkers
- Governments should step up efforts to tackle harmful alcohol consumption
- Scottish public and leading health experts back changes to alcohol labelling
- AFS calls for 65p minimum unit price for alcohol
- How will the main parties prevent harm from alcohol?
- Alcohol labelling reform is way past its sell by date
- Alcohol policy priorities for the next parliament
- Young drinkers believe prominent health warnings on alcohol could boost risk awareness
- Alcohol and the Workplace Effective Interventions
- Alcohol sales and consumption in Scotland during the pandemic
- How can we prevent alcohol deaths?
- Alcohol Deaths and Minimum Unit Pricing
- Young Scots show support for restrictions on alcohol marketing
- YoungScot Health Panel report on alcohol marketing and harm
- New release of alcohol related hospital admissions
- Better alcohol labelling – A way to boost awareness of the risk between alcohol and cancer?
- Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support
- Almost half of Scots in favour of minimum unit pricing
- NICE Guidelines on FASD Surveillance or Support?
- Leading health charities call for action in Scotland
- Health experts campaign for better understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Health experts call for alcohol labelling overhaul
- Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress
- Alcohol Focus Scotland welcomes new WHO report on alcohol pricing
- Statistical analysis of off-trade alcohol sales in the year following MUP
- Alcohol Focus Scotland Review of statements of licensing policy 2018 to 2023
- We need to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- Scots report changing drinking patterns during coronavirus lockdown
- Time to Blow the Whistle on Alcohol Sport Sponsorship
- New evidence demonstrates that alcohol ads lead to youth drinking
- Alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP
- First study published into under 18 drinkers post MUP
- Commission on Alcohol Harm calls for evidence
- Two years on Are annual functions reports reaching their potential?
- We need to do more to protect our children and young people
- Scottish primary children call for action on alcohol
- New Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support Now Available from AFS
- Its time to tell us whats in our drinks
- A home for Rory
- Making a bad impression - blog post
- Alcohol sales and MUP
- Alcohol marketing and children debate in the Scottish Parliament
- Lowest alcohol sales in 25 years
- Research into fall in violence
- The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood
- Minimum unit pricing one year on
- More about sales data
- A family of resources it is all about prevention, education and resilience
- AFS publish Review of Licensing Board Annual Functions Reports 2017-2018
- Marketing unmasked dispelling the myths and taking a stand
- No place for alcohol marketing in sport
- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol: a global concern
Alcohol: a global concern
This week, hundreds of alcohol campaigners, researchers, health professionals and policymakers from all over the world will gather in Edinburgh for the Global Alcohol Policy Conference.
Against the backdrop of high levels of alcohol harm around the world, the conference offers a unique opportunity to share knowledge and inspire each other to advocate for the policies that will reduce the significant harm that alcohol causes in our countries. In selecting Scotland to host the event, the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance recognised the leadership and courage shown by Scotland in pursuing minimum unit pricing as an effective policy to tackle alcohol harm.
Across the world, alcohol causes so much damage to people’s health, to the lives of their families, and to the communities we live in. Alcohol use is the world’s 5th leading risk factor for disease, injury and disability. In eastern Europe, most of Latin America and southern sub-Saharan Africa, it is the leading cause.
Worldwide, alcohol causes around 3.3 million deaths annually.
Drinking levels and patterns vary considerably between countries and regions of the world. But in most regions of the world, rising alcohol consumption is a growing threat. Generally, the greater the economic wealth of a country, the more alcohol is consumed and the smaller the number of abstainers. High-income countries have the highest alcohol consumption per person and the highest prevalence of binge drinking. Europe is home to 15% of the world’s population but drinks more than a quarter of the total recorded alcohol consumed worldwide. The riskiest patterns of consumption are reported in eastern Europe and in Russia, a quarter of men die before the age of 55, with alcohol the major cause.
In contrast, almost half of the global adult population has never consumed alcohol. However, even in countries with high levels of non-drinkers, consumption among those who do drink can be very high. For example, 70% of Indians never drink alcohol, but those who do drink consume twice as much as UK drinkers.
Countries like China and India have seen a rapid shift in patterns and trends of alcohol use in recent years, with more young people and women starting to drink. The spread of harmful drinking practices worldwide has come about with the expansion of the global alcohol trade. Research shows that where multinational producers of unhealthy commodities are most active, there is more consumption of health-damaging products like alcohol.
Asia, Africa and Latin America are targeted by global alcohol producers because of their young and growing populations, along with increasing disposable incomes. In these newer markets, the industry pursues a two-fold strategy of making some drinks cheap enough for all but the poorest to afford, whilst also pushing its premium brands as status symbols for the emerging middle class.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that marketing practices which are viewed as unacceptable in Europe are used widely in Africa by alcohol companies. For example, advertising commonly makes a connection between alcohol and wealth, and cartoons are used to market their products on African television. Unfortunately many developing countries lack the control strategies and treatment services to deal with the inevitable harms caused by rising consumption. As a result, the health and social consequences of drinking are most severe for those with the least resources.
The good news is that the world is waking up to the problem of increasing alcohol use and the need to implement effective controls. In 2010, the World Health Assembly endorsed the first Global Strategy on Alcohol. The strategy identifies ten priority areas for action, with the most effective interventions being action on pricing, availability and marketing.
Alcohol-related death and disease is not inevitable. We know what works best to prevent it. However, successful implementation of the global strategy requires sustained commitment and support from policy makers, health professionals and civil society.
We look forward to welcoming everyone taking part in the Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Edinburgh. We hope that it can be a catalyst for concerted action to counter the significant health and social problems that alcohol causes around the world.
Barbara O’Donnell, Acting Chief Executive