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Welcome to Alcohol Action Station | 14 March 2019
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NT Wins Award for Most Action on Alcohol

The NT has won the award for the most action taken on alcohol in 2018 against all other Australian states and territories, while NSW has taken the Fizzer for the worst performer in a new alcohol policy scorecard by the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA).  
 
NT won for their comprehensive alcohol policy reform following their response to the landmark Riley Review into alcohol policies and legislation. NSW was the worst performer for “eroding safeguards that exist to keep the community safe” and the strong influence of the alcohol industry in the state. NAAA Co-Chair Jane Martin congratulated the NT Government, “The Northern Territory Government is taking action to introduce a range of alcohol policies that will save lives and keep people healthy and well.”
 
WA’s efforts to restrict alcohol advertising on public transport and continued support for public education campaigns contributed to WA achieving equal second spot, with a pass score of 56%.
 
Jane Martin acknowledged the notable actions being taken in several jurisdictions saying that, “When the health of Australians is prioritised ahead of interests of the alcohol industry, we all benefit.”

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Role of Alcohol in Social Interaction Between Men

The point at which young men think their drinking could be categorised as “risky” is radically out of touch with the established guidelines, new research by Monash University and VicHealth shows.
 
The research shows that 59% of the 101 young Victorian men surveyed said they drank more than 5 standard drinks in one session weekly, and 38% said they drank more than 11 drinks in one session monthly. It also found that most men interviewed believed risky drinking meant having anywhere between 10-30 drinks, despite national guidelines recommending no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion to reduce risk of injury and no more than 2 to reduce risk lifetime risk of disease. 
 
VicHealth Executive Manager of Programs, Kirsten Corben, said the research showed we needed to challenge stereotypes and public health initiatives needed to change tactics when it comes to supporting men to drink less.

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Parents' Influence on Student Drinking Continues into their 20s

New research shows that parents continue to be a significant social influence on students’ decisions around drinking, even as they age into adulthood. In a recent study of US college students and their parents, more permissive parenting was associated with increased rates of drinking and related problems during the first and fourth years of college. The research highlights the important role parents play in relation to student drinking and the importance of continued conversations throughout college.
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Managing Alcohol in Our Communities Guide Launched

The Managing Alcohol in Our Communities Guide has now been launched by the WA Local Government Association, the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA (PHAIWA) and the Mental Health Commission!
 
The guide supports local governments to address alcohol-related issues within their communities and create a safe and healthy place for people to work, live and play. It also includes a number of case studies highlighting local governments that have taken action on alcohol.
 
The PHAIWA team has been busy conducting workshops across WA on how local governments can reduce alcohol harm and stages of developing a local plan. A couple of workshops are still left - the team will be in Broome on 15 March and in Bunbury on 2 April.

READ THE GUIDE

Exposure to Alcohol in Movies Linked to Adolescent Drinking

New longitudinal research from Argentina and Mexico shows that exposure to alcohol in movies predicted underage drinking in Latin American adolescents.
 
After controlling for other baseline covariates, in Mexico, movie alcohol exposure was significantly associated with increased risk for trying alcohol, current drinking and binge drinking. In Argentina, movie alcohol exposure was associated with trying alcohol.
 
The authors concluded that based on the study findings and similar research elsewhere, it “would also be appropriate to include restrictions on alcohol advertising in all entertainment media, such as video games, television programs, and series, which are used by young people in addition to banning traditional marketing strategies such as billboard, print materials, and direct advertising.

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Action Station: Writing a Letter to the Editor

Writing a letter to the Editor of a newspaper allows you to respond to recently published articles or letters and express your view. As an example of community action on alcohol, here is a letter from a Hamilton Hill resident recently published in The Weekend West, which highlighted why alcohol is our major drug problem.

READ TIPS ON WRITING A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Take Action on Alcohol Advertising

If you see an alcohol that concerns you, you can do something about it! The Alcohol Advertising Review Board accepts complaints about alcohol ads from the Australian community. It’s very simple – either email us, fill in the online form or phone us. All we need is a picture or link to the ad and briefly explain why it concerns you.
 
To keep up-to-date on the Alcohol Advertising Review Board determinations, reports and interesting research, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.

FIND OUT HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT

Alcohol in the news

Surgeons say Heineken’s sponsorship of the Australian Grand Prix is ‘reckless’
AdNews, 14 March 2019
Australia’s surgeons want the Australian Grand Prix to end its partnership with alcohol brand Heineken, arguing it could have fatal consequences.

Spotify criticised for not blocking alcohol ads
The Age, 14 March 2019
Spotify has been criticised by a major non-profit organisation for ignoring users with alcohol dependency issues who have asked to opt-out of booze and liquor-related advertisements.

Alcohol prohibition reducing family violence in remote communities
ABC Radio, 12 March 2019
The prohibition era is long gone in most of Australia, but in dozens of remote communities, alcohol consumption is still outlawed.

Do I have a drinking problem, or does everybody else?
Sydney Morning Herald, 9 March 2019
Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed the two men on the bench at the park if the news clip on the radio in the car that morning hadn’t caught my ear. Another newly released study. This one finds that “many men” feel socially inept among their male peers unless alcohol is involved. 
 
How alcohol companies are using International Women’s Day to sell more drinks to women
The Conversation, 8 March 2019
International Women’s Day on March 8 celebrates women’s achievements across the world and calls for action to speed up gender equality. Many alcohol companies also see it as an ideal opportunity to market their products to women.
 
Doctors welcome action on alcohol abuse
Katherine Times, 7 March 2019
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians supports the NT Government action on the NT Alcohol Harm Minimisation Action Plan.
 
Is it time for the NRL to turn off the alcohol sponsorship tap?
The Roar, 6 March 2019
What they should also have debated is whether or not alcohol sponsorship should be part of the game or, at the very least, imposing sanctions around what is deemed acceptable content to be showing minors.
 
‘No safe level’: what we’re getting wrong with alcohol guidelines
Sydney Morning Herald, 5 March 2019
The World Health Organisation advises there’s no safe level of alcohol consumption and every drink you consume increases your risk of cancer and various other health conditions such as liver disease.
 
Australian working mums are asking for help to cut back on booze, doctors say
ABC News, 3 March 2019
In the past, alcohol abuse has been largely viewed as a male phenomenon, but health experts say the gap between men and women’s drinking habits is narrowing. A study by Tim Slade from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre confirmed women were drinking more than they used to, putting their intake closer to that of men.
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