Welcome to Alcohol Action Station Edition #102
Issue no. 102
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Drink Less Live More: New Campaign on Alcohol and Cancer
  • You Can Do Something About Alcohol Advertising In Your Community!
  • New Report on Australia’s Tax System
  • Call to Bite the bullet on alcohol advertising: POlice Commissioner
  • Bottle Shops Are A ‘Real Issue'
  • Invitation: Healthway Annual Research Seminar
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts 

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

A national committee inquiring into the harmful use of alcohol in Indigenous communities has released its recommendations and is calling for urgent action on the issue.
Committee Chair, the Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP, says the inquiry saw evidence of totally unacceptable levels of harm leading to tragic consequences for adults and children, calling the impact of alcohol on children a national tragedy. 
The committee’s report presents 23 recommendations to address harmful alcohol use in Indigenous communities. The recommendations include developing a public awareness campaign, addressing the price of alcohol (through a minimum floor price), limiting alcohol advertising (by removing alcohol sponsorship from sport and ensuring that no alcohol ads are shown on TV before 8.30pm), and increasing efforts to reduce the risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (through consistent information on the risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy).
Want more?
Download the full report: Alcohol, hurting people and harming communities.
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Megan De Piazz, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

Exposure to alcohol advertising influences young people’s beliefs and attitudes about drinking, and increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol and will drink more if they are already using alcohol.
Source: Alcohol advertising and young people [factsheet]. 

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Drink Less Live More: New Campaign

A new campaign is calling on Victorians to limit the amount of alcohol they drink to reduce their risk of cancer. Drink Less Live More campaign image
“It doesn’t matter what type of alcohol you drink, your cancer risk is the same for all types of alcohol whether it’s beer, wine, cider or spirits. And there’s no conclusive evidence that alcohol helps protect you from any type of cancer.”
If you choose to drink alcohol, Cancer Council Victoria recommends that you drink only within the national guidelines for low risk alcohol consumption, which is no more than two standard drinks a day.
The campaign is based on a WA Government campaign called ‘Stains’, developed by the Drug and Alcohol Office in 2010. 
Want more?
Read more about the campaign and watch the TV ad here.

You Can Do Something About Alcohol Advertising In Your Community!

Your Children see these adverts - picture

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 Report on Australia’s Tax System

A new report by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and The Australia Institute has exposed Australia’s wine tax system as corporate welfare, with Australians paying a billion dollars a year to subsidise the wine industry.

FARE reportModelling in The Goon Show: How the tax system works to subsidise cheap wine and alcohol consumption shows that if wine was taxed in the same way as beer, an extra $1.4 billion in tax revenue would be raised.

FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn says the wine equalisation tax (WET) is corporate welfare at its worst.

“Most Australians pay more personal income tax than these wine producers and wholesalers. It simply beggars belief that ordinary Australians continue to foot the bill for the significant health and social costs of alcohol, while the majority of wine producers are profiting from favourable tax arrangements that encourage production of cheap alcohol that we know is targeted at, and consumed by problem drinkers,” Mr Thorn said.
FARE is calling for the WET to be abolished. “It’s important to remember that we’re not just talking about lost tax revenue. Each year in Australia alcohol kills 5,500 Australians and hospitalises a further 157,000. That toll could be reduced by abolishing the WET, and replacing it with a more equitable and efficient tax,” Mr Thorn said.
Want more?
Read the media release and full report on the FARE website.

Call To Bite The Bullet on Alcohol Advertising: Police Commissioner

WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has called for West Australians to rally against the promotion of alcohol and proliferation of liquor stores in their communities.
“Two explosive reports in the past two weeks urge the community and governments to take definitive and decisive action on escalating levels of alcohol abuse and its attendant problems,” he wrote in an opinion piece in The West Australian newspaper. Top cop's alcohol call out - The West Australian
“The strategies for primary prevention suggested in both reports are the same. They call for a reduction in the physical and economic availability of alcohol and they call for further regulation of promotion,” wrote Dr O’Callaghan.
“It is beyond comprehension, for example, that we continue to remain mute on the number of liquor stores in our suburbs”.
“Both reports…highlight concerns over alcohol advertising to our children. Both reports recommend that we disallow alcohol advertising on television before 8.30pm to protect our children, yet we allow an exemption for live sport at any time. Given that tens of thousands of children watch live sport coverage we have to accept that we are creating a risk by allowing that advertising to continue”. 
“In the end…it is down to the community and Government to take a courageous stand on solving the problem...”
Want more?
Read the Police Commissioner’s opinion piece in The West and media coverage.

Bottle Shops Are A ‘Real Issue’

President of the Liquor Stores Association of WA, Lou Spagnolo wrote an opinion piece for The West Australian arguing that bottle shops are not the real issue with alcohol-related harm. See his article below (here is a larger version).The West Australian opinion piece

Here is a response to Mr Spagnolo’s opinion piece from Julia Stafford, Executive Officer of the McCusker Centre.
The president of the Liquor Stores Association of WA dutifully tried to distance bottle shops from alcohol-related harm in an opinion piece marked with impressive spin and misinformation.
Given industry reports show 78% of all alcohol in Australia is bought as packaged liquor to drink away from licensed premises – exactly what bottle shops sell – it would seem bottle shops very much are the ‘real issue’ with alcohol-related harm.
Mr Spagnolo expresses support for secondary supply laws intended to reduce underage access to alcohol. We can agree on that. One would hope he is just as supportive of other proposed measures to reduce underage access to alcohol, such as controlled purchase operations to ensure bottle shops and other licensed premises don’t sell alcohol to minors. Research from the National Drug Research Institute shows half of the under-18 year olds surveyed reported that it was ‘easy’ to buy alcohol from bottle shops. Let’s reduce the direct supply of alcohol to under 18s as well as secondary supply.

Invitation: Healthway Annual Research Seminar

Healthway invites you to the 2015 Annual Research Seminar on 21 July. Speakers will include Professor John Toumbourou from Deakin University, and Professor Simone Pettigrew from Curtin University’s WA Cancer Prevention Research Unit.
Date and time:  Tuesday 21 July from 9am to 10.30am
Venue:                The Boulevard Centre
                             99 The Boulevard, Floreat
RSVP                  By COB 16 July to or 9476 7000.
See below for more information.

Healthway annual research seminar flyer

Alcohol in the Media

Booze brands the big winners during State of Origin
B & T, 9 July 2015
Even though Queensland stomped away with a massive win against New South Wales, it looks like beer brands are the big winners of the State of Origin.

Kalgoorlie company found negligent after apprentice burnt during alcohol-fuelled work party
ABC News, 7 July 2015
A Kalgoorlie company has been found negligent over an alcohol-fuelled work party that ended with a 19-year-old electrical apprentice suffering burns to 60 per cent of his body.
Drinking alcohol while pregnant ‘common’: report
9News, 7 July 2015
Twenty to 80 per cent of women questioned in England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand drank alcohol while pregnant, researchers said Tuesday, flagging a “significant public health concern”.
Moderate alcohol consumption ‘doubles’ risk of throat, mouth cancers: Cancer Council
ABC News, 6 July 2015
Drinking moderate levels of alcohol significantly increases a person’s risk of developing mouth and throat cancer, new data has revealed, prompting calls for people to limit themselves to two standard drinks per day.
Powdered alcohol banned in Victoria but national ban will not be enforced
The Age, 1 July 2015
The ban on powdered alcohol in Victoria will not be enforced countrywide, with the Abbott government saying it is a decision for each state.
It’s time to take Melbourne’s alcohol problem seriously
Herald Sun, 1 July 2015
Even the most parochial Australians tend to agree that when it comes to the nation’s pre-eminent city for entertainments, it’s Melbourne first and daylight second.
Minimum alcohol pricing cuts serious crime, study reveals
The Guardian, 28 June 2015
Canadian research finds crimes against the person fell by 9% over a decade as authorities in British Columbia increased prices by 10%  

The Facts

  1. Alcohol is a Group 1 carcinogen. 
  2. Drinking alcohol increases the risks of cancers of the mouth, throat (pharynx and larynx), oesophagus, bowel (colon and rectum), liver and female breast.
  3. Drinking less alcohol will reduce your risk of cancer.
Source: Drink Less, Live More.
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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