Indexed on: 09 Nov '16Published on: 01 Nov '16Published in: BJPsych Advances
Alcohol is the most commonly used recreational drug in the world and the third leading cause of preventable death. Alcohol consumption and alcohol problems have increased steadily over the past six decades. Methods likely to reduce alcohol problems (e.g. minimum pricing, restricting licensing hours and increasing the availability of alcohol treatment) tend not to be supported by the drinks industry. Methods favoured by the industry (e.g. public education, industry self-regulation and product warning labelling) are less effective or do not work. The recent history of alcohol policy clearly demonstrates how the financial power of industry can influence governments and undermine effective public health measures, for instance by lobbying, political donations, confusion marketing and creating financial vested interests by grants from industry-sponsored ‘social aspect organisations’.