Welcome to Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #38
Issue no. 38
In this Issue
  • welcome to alcohol action station
  • did you know?
  • new report: Bingeing, collateral damage and alcohol taxation
  • new report: australian health survey
  • injury prevention summit
  • catching the bus with budweiser
  • alcohol advertising review board: recent determinations
  • alcohol in the media
  • the facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Love Twitter? Concerned about the impact of alcohol advertising on young people?’s something for you!
Cancer Council Victoria have launched a campaign to highlight the extent of alcohol advertising that could be attractive to children and young people.
Why are so many health organisations concerned about young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising?
  • Exposure to alcohol advertising contributes to young people’s attitudes to drinking, decisions about when to start drinking and behaviours in regard to how much to drink.
  • Adults may be able to critically assess alcohol ads – children don’t have the same ability.
  • The current system of alcohol advertising self-regulation is failing to ensure alcohol advertising is socially responsible and that young people’s exposure is minimised.
Here’s how you can get involved:
  • Tweet examples of alcohol advertising that you think would be attractive to children and young people using #alcoholfreekids
  • Make a complaint about alcohol advertising that concerns you to the Alcohol Advertising Review Board, an independent complaint review service.
Find out more about Cancer Council Victoria’s campaign and how you can get involved here.
Until next time,
Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Elecia Wheat, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

80% of alcohol consumed by people aged 14-24 years is consumed in ways that put the drinker’s (and others’) health at risk of short term harm e.g. from falls, assault injuries, road crashes, burns.
Source: Chikritzhs T, et al. Australian alcohol indicators, 1990-2001: Patterns of alcohol use and related harms for Australian states and territories. Perth: NDRI and Turning Point; 2003.

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New Report: Bingeing, Collateral Damage and Alcohol Taxation

report coverThe Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) have released a report titled, Bingeing, collateral damage and the benefits and costs of taxing alcohol rationally, prepared by Marsden Jacob Associates.
This report is the first Australian analysis of the benefits and costs of alcohol taxation and pricing reforms. The report’s findings include:
  • Alcohol taxation reform offers major benefits in terms of reducing harms from alcohol and efficiency benefits to the Australian economy.
  • Broadening and increasing Australia’s volumetric excises on alcohol would increase the price of alcohol, reduce binge drinking and reduce the cost of harm to others, producing a significant net benefit for the Australian community as a whole.
  • Moderate drinkers who make up more than two thirds of the population are the clear beneficiaries of the alcohol tax reforms modelled in the report.
The report provides a robust, new, detailed and separate case for alcohol tax reform in Australia.
Want to find out more? Access the full report and media release here.
Media coverage of the release of the report can be seen here.

New Report: Australian Health Survey

wine imageIn the Australian Health Survey 2011-12 released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over a quarter (25.4%) of West Australians reported having more than two standard drinks a day on average. WA exceeded the national average of 19.5% of Australians consuming more than two standard drinks per day.
The National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for reducing health risks associated with alcohol state that drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.
In comments to The West Australian on the results of the survey which covered overweight and obesity, smoking and alcohol use, Professor Mike Daube, Director of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, noted that the State Government needed to do more to promote healthy living and boost the fight against smoking and dangerous drinking.

Professor Daube was quoted as saying, "It really is quite scary that over the past three or four years WA seems to have been falling behind," he said. “We used to think of WA as the healthy State and we used to be the leaders on prevention but in recent years a sense of complacency has set in and we need a new urgency in our preventive programs. This is all the more important given the burden preventable disease puts on our health system.”

Want to find out more? Access the full report here and media coverage of the release of the report here.

Injury Prevention Summit

ICCWA logoYou are invited to an Injury Prevention Summit which will bring together government agencies, local government, non-government organisations and community groups to contribute to the future of injury prevention and community safety in WA.
The summit is coordinated by the Injury Control Council of WA with support from the WA Department of Health. The themes of the summit are Partnership and Community Engagement.
Date: Monday 26 November 2012
Time: Registration from 8:30am
Venue: The Rise, 28 Eighth Avenue, Maylands
RSVP and enquiries: Alison Kay by email or 9420 7212. Registration closes on Friday 2 November.
For more information, download the event flyer. [PDF 702KB]

Catching the Bus with Budweiser

AARB imageHave you ever noticed just how many alcohol ads are placed on bus stops, on the sides of buses or outside train stations? If not, chances are now we’ve pointed it out you’ll see them everywhere...
The Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) Code states alcohol advertisements must not be placed on any means of public transport or at any train, tram, bus or ferry stops.
Outdoor advertising on buses and bus stops cannot be switched off, avoided or ignored, and is highly visible to those driving, cycling and walking past, as well as those using public transport. Children and young people represent a considerable proportion of public transport users and are likely to be regularly exposed to this form of advertising.
The AARB has received several complaints about alcohol ads placed on public transport, including a James Squire ad seen on a bus stop near the University of Western Australia, and a vodka ad on a bus stop next to a children’s playground in South Australia.
One advertisement seen on buses and bus stops has prompted numerous complaints – the Budweiser ‘Grab Some Buds’ beer ad. It is evident there is significant community concern about alcohol ads placed on public transport, due to the likely exposure of young people.
With summer fast approaching, alcohol companies are launching their summer products and advertising campaigns, with public transport a favoured advertising medium. If you spot an alcohol ad on a bus or bus stop that concerns you, snap a pic and send it to the Alcohol Advertising Review Board!

Alcohol Advertising Review Board: Recent Determinations

AARB logoCheck out some of the recent determinations by the Alcohol Advertising Review Board in response to alcohol ad complaints from the Australian community: Seen an alcohol ad that doesn’t sit right with you? Visit the Alcohol Advertising Review Board website to submit a complaint.

Alcohol in the Media

Restrictions in force. Liquor constraints appropriate: oppn [PDF 77KB]
Kalgoorlie Miner, 29 October 2012
WA Labor leader Mark McGowan has backed alcohol restrictions for the Goldfields, which come into force today, describing them as “appropriate”.
Drinkers revolt against Perth drunks
Perth Now, 28 October 2012
A drinker’s revolt has begun around the pubs and clubs of Perth, with patrons demanding bouncers do more to stop drunks entering venues.
Booze bracelets: Spy tag on grog fiends
Perth Now, 28 October 2012
The WA Labor Party has revealed a proposal to introduce a trial of the booze bracelets for persistent drink-drivers and people convicted of alcohol-related violence if it wins next year's election.
Judge warns parents against smacking children
The West Australian, 26 October 2012
The president of WA’s Children’s Court has warned parents against smacking their children, saying it normalises violence and there are “smarter ways” to discipline them. In a rare and wide-ranging interview, Judge Denis Reynolds also cautioned against giving children alcohol — even in small amounts and under parental supervision — because it reinforced the impression that underage drinking was acceptable.
The government has it wrong on alcohol’s role in chronic diseases
The Conversation, 24 October 2012
Article by Professor Robin Room, University of Melbourne: The Commonwealth government looks set to lose its top position in preventative health measures. Despite its world-first efforts on tobacco control, when the government next steps onto the world stage, it will be not be as a leader – its position on alcohol is out of step with the World Health Organization and contrary to evidence.
Should dry Aboriginal communities lift grog bans?
SBS Radio, 24 October 2012
Debate is raging in the NT after a suggestion from the Chief Minister that alcohol bans in dry Aboriginal communities could be lifted.
Alcohol groups slam minimum pricing as 'regressive'
ABC PM, 23 October 2012
Alcohol industry groups have labelled a proposal to help stop problem drinking in Australia as pointless. A Federal Government agency is due to release a report by the end of the month, which looks at the idea of introducing a minimum price on alcohol. Opponents of minimum pricing say it would punish retailers and sensible drinkers. But health experts say the public health benefit would be enormous.

Minimum pricing benefits not just small beer - study
Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October 2012
The evidence in favour of minimum pricing for alcohol is so strong it is only a matter of time before it is introduced, says the author of new research finding the policy had drastic effects when it was implemented overseas.

Community voices should be heard on grog bans
ABC Radio, 22 October 2012
The roll back of alcohol restrictions in Aboriginal communities has sparked an intense debate. The Queensland and Northern Territory governments have indicated laws restricting access to alcohol in Indigenous communities may be eased. The social justice commissioner Mick Gooda says Aboriginal people must have a say about the future of alcohol management plans in their communities.

Alcohol floor price
Radio National, 15 October 2012
The Australian National Preventative Health Agency is expected to propose this week that cheap wine be banned from sale in Australia. The idea of a national 'floor price' on alcohol, which would see drinkers made to pay between 8 and 10 dollars for a bottle of grog, has been welcomed by health groups, and opposed by the alcohol industry.

Schoolies warned of harsh penalties while partying overseas
The West Australian, 17 October 2012
Schoolies have been warned they could face long jail terms or even the death penalty if they get into trouble while partying overseas after their exams. Cashed-up and keen to blow off steam, more leavers are choosing Bali, Thailand or the Pacific islands for their post Year 12 bash. For the first time, the Federal Government has issued a travel warning for leavers going overseas.

Locals in the north declare their homes alcohol free
ABC News, 9 October 2012
A year ago, laws were introduced giving people the right to make it illegal to drink in their homes and the impact has been positive.

The Facts

Recently published research from Canada reports the impacts on alcohol consumption following new and increased minimum alcohol prices in Saskatchewan. The findings included:
  1. A 10% increase in the minimum price of alcohol was linked to an 8.4% reduction in alcohol consumption.
  2. Larger effects were found for off-premise sales (e.g. packaged liquor from bottle shops) than for on-premise sales (e.g. bars and restaurants).
  3. Minimum pricing is a promising strategy for reducing the public health burden associated with hazardous alcohol consumption.
Source: Stockwell T, et al. (2012). The Raising of Minimum Alcohol Prices in Saskatchewan, Canada: Impacts on Consumption and Implications for Public Health. American Journal of Public Health.

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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