Welcome to Alcohol Action Station Edition #103
Issue no. 103
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Children Exposed to Alcohol-Branded Hot Air Balloon
  • You Can Do Something About Alcohol Advertising In Your Community!
  • New Research: Effects of Alcohol Outlets on ED Presentations
  • Alcohol A Key Focus In Family Violence Inquiry
  • What’s New on Drink Tank?
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Some good news was released this fortnight about young people’s drinking patterns.
While rates of heavy drinking have remained stable among young adults (18-29), young people aged 14-17 years have markedly reduced their risk of alcohol-related harm, new research funded by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) shows. Dr Michael Livingston from the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research conducted the study.
“Young people have sharply reduced their drinking over the last decade; in particular Australian teenagers are drinking less alcohol, and in less risky quantities,” said the report author, Dr Livingston. 
FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn said that these patterns of behaviour will significantly improve the health of young Australians. “There is no level of safe drinking for those aged under 18, as alcohol can damage the developing brain, so it is extremely pleasing to see such positive and significant shift in young people’s drinking patterns,” Mr Thorn said.
“By raising awareness of alcohol harms, by supporting the introduction of secondary supply laws and by better informing and empowering parents that it’s important that they say ‘no’ to providing alcohol to their children, organisations such as FARE and the public health sector have undoubtedly created an environment conductive to positive change we are now witnessing,” Mr Thorn said.
Professor Mike Daube, Director of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth said though the report confirmed some positive trends in alcohol use by young people in recent years, the community could not get complacent. “…any positive trends should be welcomed, along with a commitment to keep taking action that will impact on harmful alcohol use,” he said.
Want more?
Read the full report and media release on FARE’s website.
Read 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 decline in underage drinking is in line with worldwide trends. While a shift towards socialising activities that don’t revolve around alcohol, and a growing focus on healthy living may have contributed to the decline, the role played by the public health sector should not be underestimated.
Source: Young Aussie binge drinking in decline. FARE Media Release.

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Children Exposed to Alcohol-Branded Hot Air Balloon

Just when we think that young people are already over-exposed to alcohol ads, a new and even more ridiculous promotion appears. AARB logo
A promotion for ‘My Footy Rewards’ offered the chance to win a ride in the ‘Carlton Draught Pot Air Balloon’, a Carlton-Draught-branded hot air balloon in the shape of a glass of beer.
The ad was reviewed recently by the Alcohol Advertising Review Board. The complainant was concerned that “The premise of a floating hot air balloon in the shape of a glass of Carlton Draught is both irresponsible and absurd. There is no possible way to prevent children from seeing the promotion – in fact, they’d be drawn to a large balloon in the sky. Carlton Draught could not stop children and young people watching the balloon, so they’d be watching an alcohol ad float over their heads.”  
The ad breached the Placement Code, on the basis that the majority of the Panel believed that young people would be exposed to the hot air balloon floating over Melbourne with no control by the advertiser over who is exposed to it.
The Alcohol Advertising Review Board requested the advertiser end the promotion immediately due to the likely exposure of young people to the alcohol-branded hot air balloon.
Want more?
Read the full determination.

You Can Do Something About Alcohol Advertising In Your Community!

Photo: your children see these adverts bus stop ad
Alcohol is one of the most heavily promoted products in the world. Sometimes, we’re so used to being surrounded by alcohol ads, we don’t even notice them!
Alcohol advertising is everywhere: during popular TV shows, on your favourite sports team’s uniforms, at the cinema, on Facebook and Instagram, or on the side of the bus your kids catch to school. Research shows alcohol advertising impacts on the drinking behaviours and attitudes of young people.
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’s a very simple process - we accept complaints by email, an online form, phone or the post. All we need is a picture or link to the ad and a few sentences on why it concerns you.
The AARB accepts complaints from anywhere in Australia. Whether you’re in Perth, Karratha, or Esperance, or across the country in Melbourne or Canberra, it’s never been easier to have your voice heard!
So next time you see an alcohol ad that doesn’t sit right with you, voice your concerns! It’s important we work together to take action on alcohol advertising.
To keep up to-do-date on AARB determination, reports, and interesting research, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.

New Research: Effects of Alcohol Outlets on ED Presentations

New research by Dr Michelle Hobday and colleagues from the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University has looked at the effects of licensed outlets, trading hours and alcohol sales on levels of alcohol-related injuries presenting at Perth metropolitan Emergency Departments (EDs).

Key findings include:
  • Night  alcohol-related injuries were associated with counts of on-premises outlets (such as pubs, bars and hotels) and sales per off-premise outlet (such as liquor stores and large liquor barns).  
  • emergency signHigher alcohol sales among off-premises outlets were associated with increased risk of alcohol-related injury. 
  • Compared to an additional on-premises outlet with standard trading hours, the risk of alcohol-related injury associated with venues operating with extended trading hours was substantially larger.
  • At postcode-level, each additional on-premises outlet with extended trading hours was associated with a 4.6% increase in night injuries and a 4.9% increase in weekend night injuries.
The researchers concluded that regions of Perth with greater off-premises alcohol sales and counts of on-premises alcohol outlets, particularly those with extended trading hours, appear to have higher levels of alcohol-related injuries.

Want more?
Read the full report in the journal Addiction.

Alcohol A Key Focus In Family Violence Inquiry

Alcohol was a key focus of the Royal Commission into Family Violence fifth day of hearing, with a number of key experts being invited before the Commission in Victoria. Royal Commission into Family Violence logo

The Commission heard that alcohol use is one part of a complex problem when it comes to family violence and that alcohol and drugs increase both the frequency and severity of harm. The experts focussed on key policy areas that we know will work to prevent harm from alcohol – price, availability and promotion of alcohol.  

The inquiry heard about the strong relationship of liquor outlets and the increases in domestic violence and other forms of violence.
Discussing health messaging, Deakin University Associate Professor Peter Miller said that strong, shocking advertising campaigns and public education were needed. “If you allow alcohol to be advertised by companies to every kid who idolises a sports person then put on one single little advert that says ‘don’t drink too much’, it’s a joke,” he said.
The inquiry was told that the alcohol industry can be expected to push back against any attempt to restrict or limit sales as part of policies that condemn alcohol-fuelled violence. Michael Thorn from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education concluded with, “…beware of vested interests when it comes to governments trying to respond to this. They will deny there’s a problem and they will always say that the problem lies somewhere else, mainly with the individual.”
Want more?
Read the full transcript of the hearings.


What’s New on Drink Tank?

Drink Tank

Check out some recent blogs from Drink Tank:
Don’t forget to contribute to the discussion by leaving a comment.  

Alcohol in the Media

Warning to bottle shops after sales to minors detected
Coffs Coast Advocate, 23 July 2015
The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing is cracking down on bottle shops which sell alcohol to under 18s.

Wine body rejects volumetric tax proposal
The Australian, 20 July 2015
The wine industry remains divided over the future taxation system for alcohol, with the peak winemakers’ body refusing to support a system based on volume.
Alcohol no excuse for violence: expert
9 News, 17 July 2015
Lessons could be learned from the way drink driving has been publicly condemned to help the fight against family violence, experts say.
Teens cut down on alcohol: study
The West Australian, 15 July 2015
The number of teenagers who binge drink has halved in the past decade, a new study has found.
Overhaul of alcohol advertising regulations needed to keep up with social media, researchers say
ABC News, 14 July 2015
Australian researchers are calling on the Federal Government to overhaul alcohol advertising regulations as companies change the way they target drinkers through social media.
Call for higher tax on cheaper alcohol products
SBS, 10 July 2015
There are renewed calls for an increase in tax on cheaper alcohol products, in a bid to curb the levels of alcohol abuse in Australia.
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome should be recognised as disability says report on Indigenous alcohol use
The Guardian, 10 July 2015
A significant number of Aboriginal children are falling through the cracks of the education system and later landing in prison because foetal alcohol syndrome is not recognised as disability in Australia, a national report on alcohol use in Aboriginal communities has found.
Teenage girls are binge drinking to keep up with the boys
The Australian, 10 July 2015
On Friday and Saturday nights they appear in emergency wards in ever-growing numbers, teenage girls injured after binge drinking as they attempt to be cool and “keep up with the boys”.

The Facts

  1. Over 1 million Australian children are affected in some way by the drinking of others.
  2. In 2011, there were 29,684 police-reported incidents of alcohol-related domestic violence in Australia, and that’s just the four states and territories where this data is available.
  3. Children are being verbally abused, left in unsupervised or unsafe situations, physically hurt or exposed to domestic violence because of others’ drinking. Many were also witnessing verbal of physical conflict, drinking or inappropriate behaviour.
Source: Laslett , et al. The hidden harm: Alcohol’s impact on children and families.
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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