Welcome to Alcohol Action Station edition #127
Issue no. 127
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!
  • Use of Digital Media for Alcohol Marketing
  • Young People in the UK Drinking Less
  • South Australia’s Liquor Law Review
  • Survey for Young People Who Use Social Media
  • Help Stamp Out Alcohol Sponsorship of NRL
  • Alcohol in the News
  • The Facts 

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

New research has found Australian teens are drinking on average about half as much alcohol as previous generations consumed 10 years ago.
The research led by Dr Michael Livingston from the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research analysed seven waves of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey and shows that the reduction in drinking across Australia is driven by two major changes: 1) the ageing of heavier drinking people into lighter drinking stages of the life course and 2) sharp reductions in drinking among young people.
Alcohol use among Australians peaks in middle-age, between 40 and 60 years. As drinkers move into their 60s and 70s, they tend to ease up, a trend that helps to explain the recent decline in drinking.
The main driver of reduced drinking in Australia, however, is the markedly reduced alcohol use among Australians born in the 1990s, suggesting that a significant generational shift is underway.
Dr Livingston said, “We’re seeing both a decline in the choice to drink, and amongst those who do choose to drink, a decline in the amount they drink.” It seems that young people haven’t shifted to other substances. “There’s less drug use, there’s less drinking, there’s less smoking. It’s a broad shift towards more responsible, less risky behaviour,” he said.
Want more?
Read the full report led by Dr Michael Livingston in Addiction.
Read the media release and media coverage.

Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Megan De Piazz, Injury Control Council of WA


did you know?

The average age at which young people aged 14 to 24 first tried alcohol has steadily risen from 14.4yrs in 2008 to 15.7yrs in 2013.

Source: National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013.

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Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!

If you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, you can do something about it!
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.
Check out some recent determinations:
To keep up-to-date on AARB determinations, reports, and interesting research, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.

Use of Digital Media for Alcohol Marketing

A new paper has assessed whether digital alcohol marketing influences drinking behaviours, the methods of marketing used by alcohol brands and the evidence of marketing code violations.
The paper found that:
  • image of social mediaExposure to marketing through digital media was associated with increased drinking and increased likelihood of risky behaviour and binge drinking.
  • The marketing activities make use of materials and approaches attractive to young people and encourage interactive engagement with branded messaging.
  • A wide variety of approaches were used by alcohol brands, including interviews with celebrities, competitions for tickets to party events, free apps for hangover advice, alcohol use monitoring and local retailer locations and competitions for user-generated videos and cocktail recipes.
  • There is evidence that current alcohol marketing codes are being undermined by alcohol producers using digital media, and that children and young people are exposed to digital alcohol marketing.
The authors conclude that there is evidence to support public health interventions to restrict the promotion of alcohol in digital media, especially to protect children.
Want more?
Read the full paper by Lobstein and colleagues in Addiction.

Young People in the UK Drinking Less

Less drinking by young people is a trend that seems to be consistent in various parts of the world.Image of IAS report cover
In an article on DrinkTank, Aveek Bhattacharya from the UK Institute of Alcohol Studies discusses recent trends in alcohol use among young people in the UK and possible reasons for the downward trends.
“Young people today are much less likely to drink than previous generations. The proportion of English 11-15 year olds to have tried alcohol has fallen from 61 per cent in 2003 to 38 per cent in 2014,” he wrote.
“While there remains much to understand about the decline in underage drinking, it is critical to ensure that these positive trends are sustained. Doing so is likely to involve further research to explore the phenomenon in greater depth, and tax policy that resists the market’s tendency towards ever cheaper alcohol,” he wrote.
Want more?
Read the full article on DrinkTank.
Read the report Youthful Abandon: Why are young people drinking less from the Institute of Alcohol Studies.

South Australia’s Liquor Law Review

South Australia’s liquor laws have been reviewed - the review report was made available yesterday. The 129 recommendations of the independent review include:Image of SA liquor laws review cover
  • Introducing secondary supply laws to prevent adults supplying alcohol to minors without parental permission.
  • Removing alcohol ads from public transport and public transport infrastructure.
  • Maintaining the separation of alcohol and supermarkets.
  • At the national level, consider action to reduce the impact of alcohol advertising during sport broadcasts and to introduce minimum unit pricing of alcohol to minimise the harm caused to young people, people in remote communities and those who are alcohol dependent.
A number of health and community groups contributed to the review via submissions and meetings, and should be encouraged by these positive recommendations. 
The South Australian Government will now consider the recommendations.
Want more?
Find out more here.

Survey for Young People Who Use Social Media

Do you know a young person aged between 13 and 25 years? Do they use social media? Image of survey promo
If so, Curtin University researchers would love to hear from them!
The Alcohol Advertising on Social Media and Young People survey aims to explore the influence of social media on young people’s alcohol behaviours in Australia and India. The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete and will be completely anonymous.
To find out more, visit the Facebook page for the survey and the survey.
If you know of young people in this age range, share this info with them!

Help Stamp Out Alcohol Sponsorship of NRL

Are you concerned about alcohol sponsorship of sport? You can do something about it!
Image of petitionKristen Ella, the daughter of NRL great Steve Ella, has launched a petition calling on NRL CEO Todd Greenberg to phase out alcohol sponsorship of the game.
“Our footy idols are now walking billboards for the alcohol industry,” she wrote. “Shamefully, the NRL’s alcohol ads are doing real damage to our kids and fans.”
If you’re concerned too, show your support! Sign the petition and check out #boozefreesport.
Want more?
Watch a video about the petition; Check out the petition; Read Steve Ella’s recent opinion piece.

Alcohol in the News

Health check: what are the risks of drinking before you know you’re pregnant?
The Conversation, 4 July 2016
It is well established that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can have detrimental effects on the developing foetus.
WA’s Kimberley bottle shop owners push for relaxed liquor laws amid black market claims
Sunday Times, 3 July 2016
A booze black market is thriving in the Kimberley because of restrictions on pubs and bottle shops that can only sell light beer.
Alcohol-related deaths in England up 4% in one year
The Guardian (UK), 30 June 2016
Alcohol-related deaths in England have risen by 4% in a year and by 13% in a decade, according to figures published on Thursday.
Ted Wilkes recognised with AMA award at annual gala
Canning Times, 30 June 2016
Indigenous health champion Ted Wilkes was recognised for his career in the medical field at a gala dinner hosted by the Australian Medical Association (AMA). 
‘Drunkorexia’ phenomena prominent in young Australian women, research finds
ABC News, 30 June 2016
More than half of female university students in Australia are skipping meals before a big night out so they can save calories for alcohol, an Adelaide study has found.
ACT Police to tackle domestic, alcohol-fuelled violence as budget measures bite
Canberra Times, 29 June 2016
Canberra cops will continue to clamp down on family and drunken violence without a boost to the frontline as the federal police union warned ongoing budget pressures were having a “biting” effect on the force.
Alcohol ads seen ‘almost once a minute’ during Euro 16 games
The Guardian, 27 June 2016
Football supporters watching the England and Wales matches during the group stages of Euro 2016 saw alcohol marketing almost once a minute during game play, a charity has said.
Too many outlets selling alcohol to minors – police
Radio NZ, 27 June 2016
Two-thirds of liquor outlets police targeted in Auckland over the weekend sold alcohol to minors.

The Facts

New research on poisonings in Australian children and young people shows:
  1. Alcohol contributed to 10% of all poisoning by other substances (not including pharmaceuticals) in Australian children and young people aged 0-24 years in 2012-13.
  2. For children and young people aged 15-17 and 18-24, alcohol poisoning was the second most common reason for hospitalisation from poisoning by other substances (16%), behind contact with venomous animals.
  3. In 18-24 year olds, the number of cases for intentional self-harm by alcohol (34) was double that of 15-17 year olds (15).
  4. Around half (48.6%) of all poisonings by alcohol were unintentional.
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; 2016. Poisoning in children and young people 2012-13.
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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