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Australia has been trying a novel way to curb alcohol-related disorder – banning late-night drinking venues admitting customers during the final few opening hours. The aim is to prevent disturbance-generating movements between bars. In one very distinctive area it may have worked, but in others the evidence is weak.
A tax rise on 'alcopops' was on the agenda in Britain until they fell out of favour among young drinkers. Australia did however increase tax by a huge 70%. This study found no impact on short-term alcohol-related harm among the young revellers of its Gold Coast district, but probably there were broader benefits from reduced drinking.
Concern that sweetened alcoholic drinks ('alcopops') seduced adolescents to start drinking more and sooner led Germany to impose a tax rise nearly doubling their price. It dented their consumption among teenage drinkers, but switching to spirits and other products eroded the overall drop in alcohol consumption.
The Canadian province of British Columbia offered a confirmatory real-world test of whether plans in Britain to impose a high minimum price for a unit of alcohol really will reduce consumption, first step in the chain expected to lead to improved public health and productivity and reduced crime.
The Canadian province of Saskatchewan offered a confirmatory real-world test of whether plans in Britain to impose high minimum price for a unit of alcohol really will reduce consumption, first step in the chain expected to lead to improved public health and productivity and reduced crime.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Alcohol licensing, price and taxation
Traces the stuttering and in some political quarters reluctant progress to accepting a minimum unit price for alcohol in the UK, where Scotland is in the vanguard of that issue and also of licensing law. In all the debates, the benefits drinkers themselves feel they get are rarely valued in to cost-benefit calculations.
The review which led a national US task force to recommend alcohol tax rises as an important public health measure to curb excessive alcohol use and related harms. US and UK politicians remain wary for reasons which can't just be dismissed as populism.
STUDY 2009 HTM file
Protecting young people from alcohol related harm
Case studies from across the UK of innovation, good practice and productive cooperation in encouraging and enforcing compliance with laws banning sale of alcohol to under-18s and reducing related public nuisance, offering road-tested good ideas for other areas.
STUDY 2011 HTM file
Achieving positive change in the drinking culture of Wales
This research report usefully reflects evidence from reviews and recent and seminal studies, offering guidance not just on each intervention type, but on what the most effective mix might be in Wales and by extension in the UK as a whole if the aim is to affect drink-related harm at the level of the whole population.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
The government's alcohol strategy
The UK government alcohol strategy for England and Wales claims to signal a radical change to turn the tide against irresponsible drinking. After resisting the policy, headline is the commitment to setting a minimum per unit price for alcohol.
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