Welcome to Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #48
Issue no. 48
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action STATION
  • Did you know?
  • New Report: Australian Drinking Culture Revealed
  • Time for Action on Alcohol: Prof Mike Daube
  • Alcohol Sponsorship of Sport: Police Commissioners Have Their Say
  • Free Our SportsTM Film Festival: U.S. Youth Action on Alcohol
  • Surfing Australia Drops Alcohol Sponsorship
  • Wanted: Perth Teenagers for Study on Alcohol
  • Government’s Role in Protecting Health and Safety
  • Take action on alcohol Advertising
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

The McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the Action on Alcohol Awards! Awards
The Action on Alcohol Awards recognise individuals, organisations, and initiatives that have made a significant contribution to reducing harms from alcohol among young people in Western Australia.
Do you know a person or group doing great things in the community to prevent harm from alcohol among young people? Is it you or your organisation? This is your chance to recognise the efforts of those taking action on alcohol, including those working behind the scenes making things happen.
There are five award categories: Young People in Action, Community in Action, Regional Communities in Action, Government in Action and Media in Action.
Information about the award categories and nomination forms are available at Entries close 5.00pm Monday 10 June 2013.
Queries? Contact Danica Keric at the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth on 08 9266 4132 or
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Elecia Wheat, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

74% of Australians believe that more needs to be done to reduce the harm caused by alcohol-related illness, injury, death and related issues.
Source: Annual Alcohol Poll: Attitudes and Behaviours 2013, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
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New report: Australian Drinking Culture Revealed

The results are in for the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s (FARE) Annual Alcohol Poll!
The survey of 1,533 Australian adults found that many are drinking to get drunk and feeling guilty afterwards, and the overwhelming majority believe that more needs to be done to reduce alcohol harms.
Gen Y drinkers (those aged 18 to 34) are most likely to drink to get drunk, be unable to remember what happened the night before and regret some form of phone or online communication while drunk. 
For the first time, the poll also looked at social media. With the alcohol industry’s aggressive presence online mirrored by its dominance in traditional media, Australians are increasingly aware and concerned about how they are exposed to alcohol advertising. Michael Thorn, Chief Executive of FARE, says the alcohol industry’s aggressive push into social media should ring alarm bells for all Australians concerned about the cost of alcohol use and misuse in our communities.
FARE has called on Governments to prioritise regulating alcohol advertising and marketing, and reforming alcohol pricing and taxation. “The alcohol industry is pushing misleading messages and dangerous products onto our young people and we need to target the root cause of the problem”, said Mr Thorn.
Key findings
The problem
  • 63% of Gen Y drink to get drunk.
  • 76% of Gen Y ‘preload’ before going out, compared to 57% of all drinkers who do so. 
  • 22% of Gen Y are rarely or never comfortable not drinking alcohol when going to a pub, club or bar.
  • 35% of Gen Y reported not being able to stop drinking once they had started and almost half (47%) report feeling guilty and remorseful after drinking. 
  • 75% believe that Australia has a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse and 78% believe that alcohol-related problems in Australia will get worse or remain the same over the next 5 to 10 years.
Alcohol-related harms
  • Australians are most concerned with excessive drinking or alcohol abuse leading to road traffic accidents (80%), violence (78%), and child abuse and neglect (70%).
  • 32% of Australians have been affected by alcohol-related violence, including 18% who have been victims of alcohol-related violence (up from 14% in 2012).
Social media
  • 20% of Gen Y (compared to just 14% of Australians) have noticed alcohol advertising or promotions on social media and almost half (45%) of those have interacted with an alcohol brand online.
Are we doing enough?
  • The majority of Australians believe governments (56%), alcohol companies (67%), and clubs and pubs (65%) are not doing enough to address alcohol-related harm in Australia.
  • More than half (62%) of respondents support public health experts’ calls to add warning labels to alcohol products to better inform drinkers of harms.
Want more?
  • The report is available from the FARE website 
  • Media coverage of the report is available here 
  • An interview of Professors Robin Room and Rob Moodie about the poll findings is available on The Conversation
What do you think of the results? Let us know.

Time for Action on Alcohol: Prof Mike Daube

Professor Mike Daube, Director of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, reflects on the findings of FARE’s latest alcohol poll in a Drink Tank blog piece and urges governments to act. Prof_Mike_Daube
“We know we have a problem. We know there is strong support for many of the measures that are needed. We also know that action by governments is hopelessly inadequate.”
Prof Mike Daube is calling on governments to act now. “There aren’t any magic bullets, but we know a lot about what needs to be done – if governments have the courage to do it.” “This isn’t a drinking culture that can be turned overnight, but we have to make a start.”
“It’s time for governments to pay proper attention to alcohol, rather than lip-service”, writes Prof Daube.
“We are entitled to seek whole-of-government approaches to a problem that causes so much harm, puts so many children at risk, and costs governments so much, through health, policing, and other consequences.”
Visit Drink Tank to read Prof Daube’s blog.

Alcohol Sponsorship of Sport: Police Commissioners Have Their Say

Police Commissioners of all Australian states have agreed to investigate a plan to ban alcohol sponsorship and advertising in sport. The plan will be passed on to the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs, whose focus is on alcohol in 2013-14, to further investigate and report back to the Police Commissioners. 

Cricket_VB“There should be no alcohol advertising at or during sport games”, says the WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan, who initiated the push for a ban on alcohol sponsorship.
Carlton & United Breweries have said that the WA Police Commissioner wants to make people feel guilty for having a beer at the footy. However, the appropriateness of alcohol sponsorship and advertising of sports is a separate issue from the ability to purchase alcohol at sporting grounds.
Already, a number of sporting bodies have signed an agreement with the Australian National Preventive
Health Agency to replace alcohol industry funding, including those representing soccer, basketball, netball, swimming, and now surfing. However, AFL, rugby league and rugby union codes are “failing the children by not banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship”, says the Police Commissioner. 

What else is being done about alcohol sponsorship of sport?
  • In WA, the Liquor Control Act is currently being reviewed. In a submission, the McCusker Centre recommended the introduction of measures to prevent young people’s exposure to all forms of alcohol promotion (including sponsorship).
  • The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) recently sought public comment on an issues paper about alcohol advertising regulation.  The McCusker Centre recommended that adequate, sustainable funding be made available to replace alcohol sponsorship of sport, music and other events and activities to which young people are exposed.  
  • The Alcohol Advertising Review Board reviews complaints from the community about alcohol advertising, including sponsorship.
  • Game Changer is a petition calling on Australian sporting organisations to stop the promotion of alcohol and junk food.
What can I do?
  • Sign the petition which calls on Australian sporting bodies to stop the promotion of alcohol and fast food.
  • If you are concerned about alcohol sponsorship of a sporting, cultural, or music event, submit a complaint to the Alcohol Advertising Review Board.
  • Let your networks know about this issue and encourage them to get involved.

Free Our SportsTM Film Festival: U.S. Youth Action on Alcohol

The 2013 Free Our SportsTM Youth Film Festival in the U.S. has seen young people aged 10-20 produce entertaining ads to help expose and eliminate global alcohol promotion.Free_our_sports_logo
While the competition is based in the U.S., Alcohol Justice received entries from around the world, including Australia. “Clearly the issue of exploiting sports to sell alcohol resonates with youth around the globe”, said Michael Scippa, Director of Public Affairs for Alcohol Justice.
Every video entry is turned into an Action Alert generating letters from viewers targeting the CEOs of the three top alcohol producers, calling on them to stop using sports events to promote alcohol. The contest also challenges entrants to promote their videos through their social networks and encourage the viewers to take action.
The film festival is a great example of youth action on alcohol!
Check out all the videos at Free Our SportsTM.

Surfing Australia Drops Alcohol Sponsorship

Great news for young surfing fans – Surfing Australia dropped its alcohol sponsorship and has signed an agreement with the Australian National Preventive Health Agency’s Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking Initiative. 
Surf stars Owen Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons will promote the anti-binge drinking message.
Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark said “the powerful anti-binge drinking message that we will promote to our surfing community is something we all believe in.”  
What do you think about sports moving away from alcohol sponsorship? Let us know your thoughts.

Wanted: Perth Teenagers for Study on Alcohol

Are you part of a community or sporting club? Do you know young people aged 14 to 17? Do you want to help find out what prevents youth drinking at risky levels?
The Youth Alcohol Norms study is looking for participants aged 14 to 17 years in Perth to provide a better understanding of what influences young people to drink at risky levels.
To find out more about the study, visit the WA Centre for Health Promotion Research website and check out the study poster [PDF 244 KB] to see how you can be involved.

Government’s Role in Protecting Health and Safety

When public health changes are suggested by governments, they are often met with resistance from the public. However, today we accept many public health measures that were once considered misguided, intrusive, or controversial (e.g. smokefree workplace laws, vaccination).
A recent article published in The New England Journal of Medicine by Dr Thomas Frieden discusses the role of governments in protecting health and safety.
In protecting the health and safety of its citizens, governments focus on promoting free and open information to support informed decision making, protect individuals and groups, and facilitate community action to promote and protect health.
Key Points:
  • It is important for governments to take public health action, which is often more effective and efficient than individual action, and they may be the only entity capable of doing so.
  • Objections to government action often underestimate the health costs of inaction, overestimate the financial or other costs of action, and fail to acknowledge the influence marketing, promotion and other external factors have on individual actions.
  • The industry has responsibility to its shareholders to increase return on investment; hence some have incentives to oppose actions that may harm their business (e.g. cigarette plain packaging).
  • Objections to government action may best be reduced by distributing accurate information on costs and benefits.
Government has the responsibility to implement effective public health measures that increase the information available to the public and decision makers, protect people from harm, promote health, and create environments that support healthy behaviours.
Want to read the full article? It is available from The New England Journal of Medicine.

Take Action on Alcohol Advertising

Seen an alcohol ad recently that concerned you?AARB
It may have been on a bus shelter or billboard, on T.V as you watched the cricket, on YouTube before your favourite music video or in your daily newspaper.
Alcohol advertising impacts on the drinking behaviours and attitudes of young people, and young people are exposed to alcohol advertising in many different forms. Next time you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, let the Alcohol Advertising Review Board know about it. The Alcohol Advertising Review Board accepts complaints from the Australian community about alcohol ads and aims to provide independent review of alcohol advertising in Australia.
Making a complaint is simple – just send a pic or link to the advertisement (if you can) and briefly describe why it concerns you. At you will find an online form and contact details to submit complaints.
Check out some of the recent determinations by the Alcohol Advertising Review Board in response to alcohol ad complaints from the Australian community:
To stay up to date on all Alcohol Advertising Review Board determinations, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.

Alcohol in the Media

VB defends their ‘raise a glass’ campaign
ABC North West WA, 22 April 2013
The General Manager of Victoria Bitter says that the brand’s ‘raise a glass’ campaign is not about promoting the sale or consumption of alcohol on Anzac Day.
Laws for supplying alcohol are not simply red tape, they’re there for our protection
The Courier-Mail, 22 April 2013
The Queensland Government has recently proposed laws allowing the supply of alcohol without a liquor license in nursing homes, hospitals, Parliament House and hairdressers.
Freeze beer tax? Let’s have a drink to that
The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2013
The government is being asked to freeze tax on beer to give drinkers a bit of relief.
Drugs, drink, misery for Perth paramedics according to new St John Ambulance figures
The Sunday Times, 20 April 2013
Paramedics say drug abuse and binge drinking are making their job a misery, with officers fearing for their lives when they turn up in certain areas.
Judge blasts Liquorland claims
The West Australian, 20 April 2013
Retail giant Coles has been forced to defend its corporate values after it suggested alcoholics would not be affected by a proposed Maylands liquor store because they could not understand the small print of its advertisements.
Rockingham could ban foreshore nightclubs
Weekend Courier, 19 April 2013
The City of Rockingham could ban nightclubs from opening at the foreshore and allow them only in the city centre if a plan is approved at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Number of bingers and teetotallers on the rise
Sydney Morning Herald, 18 April 2013
Australians are increasingly split in their attitudes to drinking between binge drinkers and people who have quit alcohol entirely, a national survey has found.
New view of Sunday morning
The West Australian, 17 April 2013
They are not wowsers, naysayers or on their high horse but these three Perth residents are on a mission to transform Australia’s alcohol culture one drink at a time.
Grog groups accused of targeting minors on social media
ABC News, 12 April 2013
There are concerns alcohol companies may be turning to the colourful world of social media to promote drinks to minors.

The Facts

  1. Receipt of alcohol industry sponsorship by university students who play sport is associated with higher rates of receiving aggressive behaviours.
  2. Male sportspeople are significantly more likely than female sportspeople to have reported having displayed and received aggression, and to have damaged property due to intoxication.
  3. The rates of alcohol-related aggression and antisocial behaviour in Australian university sportspeople appear to be higher than those displayed in their peers and the general population.
Source: O’Brien KS, Lynott D, Miller PG. Alcohol industry sponsorship and alcohol-related harms in Australian university sportspeople/athletes. Drug Alcohol Review 2013; 32:352-247.
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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