Welcome to Alcohol Action Station edition #125
Issue no. 125
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • New Research on Alcohol Use in Pregnant Women
  • DrinkTank: “We Must Act. We Must Make FASD History”
  • Hear From a FASD Consultant and Educator: Carolyn Hartness
  • Calls to Remove Alcohol Ads from Sport
  • Encouraging Trends in Alcohol Use Among Young People In WA
  • Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts 

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Alcohol ads on ‘school special’ bus routes don’t seem to concern WA’s Public Transport Authority, despite the clear inappropriateness. Image of Stirling Times paper
A community member contacted the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) about an alcohol ad she saw on a bus route servicing a school in Wembley Downs. “I don’t think it’s right, I really do believe Transperth has a social obligation to ensure kids don’t get on school bus runs that have got alcohol advertising on them,” said Samantha Menezes.
However, a spokesperson for the Public Transport Authority said, “It is not operationally practical to quarantine buses with alcohol advertisements to non-school services. Doing so would actually inconvenience students, by reducing the ‘pool’ of vehicles available to run school specials.”
Julia Stafford from the McCusker Centre said the Wembley Downs incident was not an isolated one. “It is difficult to think of a more inappropriate place to advertise alcohol than on a school bus,” she said.
“Proper controls on alcohol advertising are urgently needed to protect young people – removing alcohol ads from school buses is an obvious place to start,” she said.
The McCusker Centre has written to the Public Transport Authority and the Minister for Transport and will continue to follow up this issue.
What can I do?
If you share these concerns, we encourage you to write to the
Public Transport Authority (email and the Minister for Transport, the Hon Dean Nalder MLA calling on them to remove alcohol ads from school bus routes.
If you see an alcohol ad that concerns you,
let the Alcohol Advertising Review Board know.
Want more?
Read the story in the
Stirling Times and the determination report by the AARB Panel.
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Megan De Piazz, Injury Control Council of WA


did you know?

Exposure to alcohol advertising influences young people’s beliefs and attitudes about drinking, and increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol and will drink more if they are already using alcohol.

Source: Alcohol Advertising and Young People.
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New Research on Alcohol Use in Pregnant Women

New Australian research shows pregnant women report intending to binge drink at similar levels to women who are not pregnant, despite national guidelines advising pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy not to drink.
Image of Pettigrew etal paper
Key findings of the research include:
  • Around half of pregnant women believed they both should (47%) and will (53%) reduce alcohol use.
  • Among both possibly pregnant and non-pregnant women of childbearing age, one in four reported that they “should” reduce and one in five that they “will” reduce alcohol use.
  • 33% of the pregnant women and 39% of possibly pregnant women reported intending to drink five or more standard drinks on a single occasion in the next two weeks. This was similar to the proportion of non-pregnant women who reported intending to drink five or more drinks (32%).
  • Compared to younger pregnant women (18 to 29 year olds), a greater proportion of older pregnant women (aged 30 years or older) reported intending to drink five or more drinks on a single drinking occasion and a smaller proportion reported believing that they will reduce the amount of alcohol consumed.
Lead author, Professor Simone Pettigrew said, “This says a lot about how much drinking is considered so normal that women either find it difficult to not drink in pregnancy or do not want to abstain when out publicly.”
The authors are calling for measures to increase public awareness of current alcohol guidelines for pregnant women, with particular attention on older women of childbearing age and those planning a pregnancy.
Want more?
Read the full paper by Prof Pettigrew and colleagues in Substance Use and Misuse.
Read media coverage in The West Australian.

DrinkTank: “We Must Act. We Must Make FASD History”

June Oscar AO recently spoke at the Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania 2016 Conference, and DrinkTank has republished an extract of her speech on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
 Image of DrinkTank blog post
June discussed how women in the Fitzroy Crossing community rallied to impose statutory restrictions on the sale of full-strength alcohol in the community. Following the restrictions, the community was able to examine the impact on children and started Australia’s first prevalence study of FASD. “We found that one in five children (19%) had a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, one of the highest prevalence in the world,” June said.
“We have used the evidence of FASD as a strong foundation to provide immediate support to individual children, including in the classroom, and to raise awareness of the harms associated with drinking alcohol during pregnancy,” she said. “Our story is one of a community taking control of a crisis and looking forward to intergenerational health and wellbeing.”

Read June Oscar’s speech on DrinkTank for more

Hear From a FASD Consultant and Educator: Carolyn Hartness

Image of Healthway Visting Fellow event flyerCarolyn Hartness is a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) consultant and educator, and is a Healthway Visiting Fellow. Carolyn has more than 2 decades’ experience working with individuals, families, agencies and communities with respect to alcohol use in pregnant women and FASD interventions.
Carolyn is involved in the Lililwan Project in the Fitzroy Valley and is in WA to work with the Pilbara communities to “make FASD history.”

Building a collaborative circle of care
Date and time:     Thursday 16 June 2016, 12 to 1pm
Venue:                    Seminar Room, Telethon Kids Institute
                                 100 Roberts Road, Subiaco
RSVP:                     Here by Tuesday 14 June

See you there!

Calls to Remove Alcohol Ads from Sport

In the lead up to the NRL State of Origin last week, health groups renewed calls to remove alcohol advertising and sponsorship from sport.Images of calls for curbs on alcohol advertising media headlines
The Australasian College of Physicians called for alcohol advertising and sponsorship to be phased out of sports broadcasts. The College President, Dr Catherine Yelland said, “Sport is very important to children and sends a lot of messages to them and while most of them are good, alcohol has become closely associated with those high-profile sports and advertising in many ways.”
St Vincent’s Health Australia also called for a ban on alcohol sponsorship in sport as part of a plan to reduce alcohol-related harm by 20% by 2025. Toby Hall, St Vincent’s Health CEO said, “We see major sporting teams, including our national cricket team, our State of Origin teams, and our national rugby team, with sponsorships relating to alcohol.”
Former Origins star Steve Ella has urged NRL to “seriously consider the detrimental impacts of continued partnership with the alcohol industry.” He said, “Since my time proudly representing NSW in the State of Origin series, I have watched as the Origin Blues have become increasingly saturated with alcohol sponsorship. I am seriously concerned by the impact that such sponsorship has on impressionable young people and sports fans of all ages.”
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol have both called for better controls on alcohol advertising in their Federal Election policy platforms.
This issue continues to be a focus for health groups nationally.

Encouraging Trends in Alcohol Use Among Young People in WA

A feature in The West Australian’s H+M reports on the encouraging trends in alcohol use among young people in WA, “Young people seem to be getting the message about alcohol, with increasing numbers choosing not to drink before they hit 18.”
 Image of H+M front cover
Professor Mike Daube from the McCusker Centre said WA was well ahead of other States when it came to understanding the harms associated with alcohol and the proportion of people who choose to drink sensibly. This shift in attitude was thanks to increasing community concern, media publicity of the issues around alcohol and the State Government’s commitment to a long-term community education campaign: Alcohol. Think Again, which Prof Daube said was the first well-run, long-term campaign of its type nationally and possibly internationally. 
“Consumption is still up there in the alps and there is still a huge amount of preventable harm but the trends are looking good and I think if we keep doing what we are doing in WA then I think we are absolutely on the right track,” Professor Daube said.
Prof Daube is calling for volumetric tax on alcohol, curbs on marketing, as well as appropriate health warning labels on alcohol containers.
Read about alcohol use trends and tips for parents in H+M for more.

Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!

Image of AARB bus shelter
The Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) accepts complaints about alcohol ads from the Australian community. It is a very simple process – we accept complaints by email, an online form or by phone. All we need is a picture or link to the ad and a few sentences on why it concerns you.
To keep up-to-date on AARB determinations, reports, and interesting research, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.

Alcohol in the News

Alcohol industry warns of higher prices from minimum pricing ruling
The Australian, 6 June 2016
The global alcohol industry is bracing for a potentially precedent-setting court decision in Scotland on whether the government can set a floor on alcohol prices.
Students study youth trauma prevention
Collie Mail, 6 June 2016
Students at Collie Senior High School (CSHS) participated in the Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) Program last month.
Parents can’t wait for NRL to act on alcohol
Sydney Morning Herald, 5 June 2016
Helicopter parent is a label many mums and dads of young children fear earning, but a high degree of hovering may be of benefit when it comes to teenagers and substance use.
Cutting alcohol ads in sport sends the right message to youngsters
The Conversation Africa, 1 June 2016
An English barbershop owner and his son have embarked on a massive David and Goliath battle to outbid Thai beer Chang as the front-of-jersey sponsor of their local football team. 
State of Origin: Former league greats Steve Mortimer, Steve Ella call for end to alcohol sponsorship
ABC News, 1 June 2016
Former State of Origin greats Steve Mortimer and Steve Ella have called on rugby league to put an end to alcohol sponsorship of sport. 
St Vincent’s Health Australia proposes higher alcohol taxes, national lockout laws
ABC News, 1 June 2016
Adopt higher alcohol taxes, ban alcohol sponsorship in sport, and introduce nation-wide lockout laws to reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking, Australia’s major political parties are being urged.
Alcohol advertising during live sports broadcasts ‘should be phased out’
ABC News, 30 May 2016
Medical experts have called for alcohol advertising and sponsorship to be phased out of live sports broadcasts.
Young people embrace text message reminders to help curb binge drinking
ABC News, 27 May 2016
Public health researchers with Melbourne’s Burnett Institute have been trialling the use of personalised mobile phone messages to help young Australians to curb their binge drinking.

The Facts

New research from the US investigated the effects of exposure to Facebook alcohol ads on intentions to drink alcohol and alcohol-related behaviours. They found:
  1. People that were exposed to beer ads rather than ads for water were more likely to select a bar gift card, rather than a coffee shop gift card as a gift for participating in the study.
  2. The beverage type advertised (water vs beer) did not have an effect on drinking intentions for the study participants.
  3. Participants’ expression of intentions to drink alcohol was conditional to risky drinking behaviours and brand familiarity.
Source: Alhabash et al. Saw it on Facebook, drank it at the bar! Effects of exposure to Facebook alcohol ads on alcohol-related behaviours. Journal of Interactive Advertising; 2016.
Alcohol Action Station aims to provide the WA community with the tools to take action to reduce harms from alcohol among young people. It is provided by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth in association with the Injury Control Council of WA. You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to receive Alcohol Action Station fortnightly e‐newsletters and urgent bulletins.

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