Welcome to Alcohol Action Station | 16 May 2019
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New Report Finds Alcohol Advertising is Impossible to Escape for Aussie Kids

A new report by the Alcohol Advertising Review Board shows that regulation of alcohol marketing in Australia is so weak that alcohol ads have been seen on school buses, across from primary schools, and before children’s videos on YouTube.
Julia Stafford from the PHAIWA Alcohol Programs Team said that immediate action needs to be taken by governments, “With the election looming, there are opportunities for the incoming Federal Government to take action to better protect young people. This includes removing the exemption in the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice that allows alcohol advertisements to be broadcast during sports programming on weekends and public holidays. There is also an urgent need to replace the self-regulatory alcohol advertising system with independent, legislated controls that cover the volume, content, and placement of all forms of alcohol marketing.”
Melissa Ledger from Cancer Council WA agreed and said that children are bombarded with alcohol advertising that portrays alcohol as desirable and aspirational, “Alcohol is a major risk factor for cancer, not an everyday normal product as the advertising would suggest. We must do more to protect kids from this constant exposure as clearly industry self-regulation is not working.”


A Day in the Life of a Child

Here is an example of how many times an average 15 year old Australian child could be exposed to alcohol marketing in one day. With alcohol ads on social media, sport, billboards, public transport, TV, and cinema, alcohol marketing really is impossible to escape. Click the image below for the full inforgraphic.

Alcohol Advertising on Drink Tank

In a piece for Drink Tank on the latest Alcohol Advertising Review Board report, Hannah Pierce from the Alcohol Programs Team urges our government to replace the self-regulatory alcohol advertising system with independent, legislated controls on alcohol marketing. She says that public health groups won’t take their foot off the pedal, “After all the votes are counted on Saturday, we’ll keep demanding action on alcohol marketing from the new federal government. Because Australian kids deserve better than beer ads on their school bus.”

Working Together, Creating Change: Save the Date

Local Drug Action Groups, the WA Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies and the Alcohol Programs Team at PHAIWA are excited to invite you to the WA Aboriginal Alcohol and Other Drug Workers Forum in collaboration with Local Drug Action Groups Inc. State Conference: Working Together, Creating Change on 15-16 August in Perth.
The event aims to strengthen and develop culturally secure approaches to addressing alcohol and other drug issues, allowing workers and community members to learn from and empower each other and their community, build networks and to share and celebrate success stories from across the State.
The prevention stream on the second day of the conference is open to the public to attend. Join us to hear from Dr John Boffa from the Northern Territory, who will deliver the prevention keynote address about his experience in calling for action on minimum pricing for alcohol in the NT. We will also hear from Dr Ric Charlesworth AO from the End Alcohol Advertising in Sport campaign and Nick Marvin about what we can do to sideline alcohol advertising in sport. The full program will be announced shortly; check the next edition of Alcohol Action Station for more.

Annual Alcohol Poll: WA Results

The number of people who drink alcohol to get drunk has edged close to half the drinking population, to around six million people, despite little change in overall consumption, shows the new Annual Alcohol Poll by FARE.
In good news for West Australians, the report shows that we are significantly more likely than the rest of the country to be aware of the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines for low-risk drinking (68% in WA compared to 57% national average), to know the long-term guideline (44% in WA compared to 31% in Australia), and to know that zero is the recommended amount per day when pregnant (83% in WA compared to 78% in Australia).
West Australians are also significantly more likely than the rest of the country to support policies such as health warning labels and banning alcohol advertising from places like government-owned buildings, bus stop shelters, buses, and football stadiums. We are also more likely to believe that governments should ensure that alcohol products are not sold below the price of bottled water or soft drinks.


How Do Young People Manage Stigma Associated with Not Drinking Alcohol?

New research about young people aged 18-29 years who don’t drink alcohol has shed light on some strategies that they use to shift the ‘soft stigma’ and isolation associated with not drinking.
Young people reported hiding or denying their non-drinking status to avoid explaining to others; they went to social gatherings with the focus away from alcohol; they found friends who shared similar values and behaviours; they stayed active and focussed on having fun; they understood drinking as an individual choice; and they positioned themselves as morally superior to binge-drinking peers. 
“Even though young adults face the threat of soft (less severe than other stigma) stigma, they not only use strategies to hide their non-drinking or stay away from drinking situations but also play an active role in redefining social situations and practices and taking a moral stand against the culture of intoxication among youth. These actions will slowly change and reshape youth culture,” said Dr Adele Pavlidis, lead author.


Global Alcohol Use Increasing

New research published in The Lancet shows that global alcohol use is increasing and that global goals for reducing the harmful use of alcohol are unlikely to be achieved.
The study found that before 1990, most alcohol was drunk in high-income countries, with the highest use levels recorded in Europe. But, this pattern has changed since 1990. Alcohol use has decreased in most European countries, particularly in Eastern Europe. At the same time, alcohol use increased in several lower-middle income and upper-middle-income countries, such as China, India and Vietnam, with drinking levels higher than in some European countries in 2017.
The study authors have called for known effective policy measures to be implemented to reduce drinking, especially in rapidly developing countries with growing rates of alcohol use.


Alcohol Programs Team Out and About

The Alcohol Programs Team’s Hannah Pierce and Danica Keric are attending the Behavioural Research in Cancer Control Conference in Perth this week.
Hannah participated in a session on marketing unhealthy products yesterday and discussed the Alcohol Advertising Review Board’s efforts to encourage state and local governments to remove alcohol advertising from public transport-related sites.
Later today, Hannah and Danica will participate in a rapid fire session on tobacco and alcohol. Hannah will discuss the effectiveness of the rules regulating the placement of alcohol marketing in Australia. Danica will discuss our team’s experience of getting involved with liquor licensing in Western Australia and the lessons we have learnt.

Alcohol Advertising Review Board Update

The Alcohol Advertising Review Board accepts and reviews complaints from the Australian community about alcohol ads and aims to provide an independent review of alcohol advertising in Australia. Check out some recent determination reports in response to alcohol ad complaints from the Australian community:

To keep up-to-date on the Alcohol Advertising Review Board determinations, reports and interesting research, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.


Alcohol in the news

Welfare groups push for restrictions on the sale of household products containing alcohol
ABC News, 13 May 2019
As the sale of alcohol becomes more restricted across the region, welfare groups said people are turning to easier-to-reach sources – like vanilla essence and cleaning products.
One in five harmed by others drinking alcohol over past year, survey finds
The Guardian (UK), 10 May 2019
Researchers surveyed 5,000 over-16s in England to uncover extent, type and frequency of harms. One in five people in England have been harmed by others drinking alcohol over the past year, a survey has found.
Confusion about alcohol risk widespread as new poll reveals Australia’s ‘binge-drinking culture’
ABC News, 8 May 2019
Nine in ten Australians consider themselves “responsible drinkers”, yet a quarter of people drink to get drunk at least once a month, new polling shows.
Carlton Zero: Alcohol-free beer being marketed as soft drink
7 News, 7 May 2019
An alcohol-free beer being marketed as a soft drink has caused controversy after a bold advertisement appears to encourage people to drink it at work.
Sustainable Health review backs recommendation for a state-wide minimum floor price
Mandurah Mail, 3 May 2019
A health review issued by the state government could spell the end of cheap grog for Western Australians, with a suggestion to implement a minimum price for alcohol.
Alcohol does the most damage to Australians, but we won’t stop drinking
The New Daily, 3 May 2019
Australians’ love of beer, wine and spirts is doing more damage to our health than any other drug, new research has revealed. But despite the harm caused by alcohol, some academic say that powerful lobby groups are working hard behind closed doors to make sure that we keep drinking it.
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