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Where the council stands on pricing, tax, availability, marketing, underage drinking, etc...

As ample evidence suggests*, the Council believes that this measure is the most likely to have the biggest and quickest impact on the drinking habits of young people.

*Coate D, Grosman M. Effects of alcoholic beverage prices and legal drinking ages on youth alcohol use. Journal of Law and Economics 1988; 145-171 (Type 1V evidence – survey of 1761 youths aged 16-21)

The Council believes that taxation of alcohol is an effective environmental mechanism for reducing alcohol consumption. Approximately 10% increase in price leads to approximately a 5% decrease in beer consumption, a 7.5% decrease in wine and 10% decrease in spirit consumption*.

*Harkin AM, Anderson P, Lehto J. World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe. Alcohol in Europe – A Health Perspective. Copenhagen: WHO, 1995 (Type V evidence – expert opinion)

The Council believes that this measure, as has been shown, would have significant results. One study revealed an 18% reduction in late night single vehicle crashes and a 31% reduction in police reported alcohol related traffic crashes among 18-20 year olds*.

*Wagenaar AC. Research affects public policy: the case of the legal drinking age in the United States. Addiction 1993: 88 (supplement): 75-81 (Type 1V evidence – non-systematic review of observational studies)

This initiative would be unlikely to cause behaviour change. However, the Council agrees with the recommendation that standard unit labelling will benefit those drinkers who are motivated to count their drinks whether for health, road safety, personal safety or economic reasons*.

*Stockwell T, Single E. Standard unit in labelling of alcohol containers in Plant M., Single E., Stockwell T. Alcohol: Minimising the Harm. What Works? London: Free Association Books, 1997 (Type V evidence – expert opinion)

The Council supports the goals set by the European Action Plan EUR/LVNG 010501 E67946. Recommended actions include the following:

  • restrict advertising to product information and limit its appearance to adult print media, where a more comprehensive ban is not in force;
  • develop an advertising code, in areas where advertising is permitted, that avoids glorifying the effects of alcohol and using young people in alcohol advertisements;
  • develop a code of practice with the aim of preventing the promotion and

advertising of alcohol products which may appeal in particular to children and
young people;

  • prohibit the drinks industry from sponsoring all young people’s leisure-time activities;
  • place restrictions on sponsorship of sports by the drinks industry;
  • provide for strict regulations of events designed to promote alcohol consumption such as alcohol festivals and beer-drinking competitions

Ultimately, however, the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs believes that only a WORLWIDE BAN ON ALL ADVERTISING & PROMOTION OF ALCOHOL PRODUCTS will reduce the high prevalence of alcohol misuse. The Council believes alcohol products should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco products.

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