Yearly Archives: 2020

BLOG: A Losing Match: Botswana Sports Welcomes Big Alcohol Sponsorship

Sports bodies in Botswana are celebrating the return of alcohol sports sponsorship and alcohol sales during sporting events following the lifting of an alcohol sponsorship ban that was in place in the country.
But Tunga makes the case that this is ultimately a losing match, putting Botswana’s children and youth in harm’s way.
In a compelling blog with a series of powerful questions, Tunga illustrates the pitfalls and likely consequences of this new decision…

BLOG: COVID-19 and Alcohol – Consumption Data Strengthens Case for Ambitious Alcohol Policy

As Europe tentatively opens up, many are now looking back at how society was impacted by the first months of the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. In this timely and compelling overview, Kalle presents what Swedish data can illustrate so far about the impact of the lockdowns on alcohol consumption and what it could teach us when we design alcohol policy in the future…

BLOG: The Alcohol Policy Situation in East Africa During COVID-19

Already before the current coronavirus crisis, alcohol harm placed a heavy burden on communities across East Africa. As COVID-19 struck the region and governments responded in different ways, numerous concerns emerged regarding another wave of alcohol harm.
In this comprehensive blog post, William explores the aspects that matter most to this story: How are political leaders responding? How is the alcohol industry working to exploit the public health crisis? How have people respected or circumvented the alcohol-related lockdown measures and what has civil society done to stem the tide of alcohol harm?
Lots of questions. And the answers are shocking, compelling, infuriating and hope inspiring…

BLOG: The Pass-Through Rates of Excise Taxes to Alcoholic Beverage Prices: New Evidence from OECD Countries

Among all policies aimed at reducing heavy alcohol use and related harms, increasing taxes is the most effective intervention. Therefore, it matters greatly how much alcohol prices increase in response to per unit tax increase – the so-called tax pass through rate. Nevertheless, evidence is still scarce.
In this blog post, Ce Shang introduces groundbreaking research with colleagues Anh Ngo and Frank J. Chaloupka. They have examined the pass-through rates of various alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and liquors in 27 OECD countries from 2003 to 2016. By analzying the tax pass-through rates on alcoholic beverages comprehensively, this new research provides insights for more informed, efficacious, and effective alcohol taxation policies to reduce alcohol harm and promote healthy behaviors.
Ce Shang and colleagues evaluate how taxes are passed differently to various price levels along the price distribution (i.e., higher- vs. lower priced products), showing that for most alcoholic beverages, the tax pass-through rates are higher for higher-priced products. Overall, manufacturers of beer and wine may adjust down the prices of lower-priced products in response to past tax hikes to keep these products affordable. The alcohol industry in responding strategically to taxes in order to keep cheap alcohol as cheap as possible. Thus, despite tax increases, prices of cheap products may still be low…

BLOG: The Power of An Idea

Sweden’s current ANDT-Strategy is expiring in 2020. A large number of civil society organizations have therefore come together to develop a shadow strategy for the government’s work to prevent and reduce harm from alcohol, narcotic drugs, doping, tobacco and gambling. The purpose is to contribute to the development of the future national ‘ANDTS-Strategy’ and in this way to strengthen and improve Sweden’s overall work to protect people from the harms caused by alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and gambling.
In her blog post, Irma sketches out how the work of the NGO coalition came about and to fruition. It all started with the idea of one member of IOGT-NTO…

BLOG: Slowly, The World Is Changing Rapidly

In this personal and heart-felt blog post, Lucas is reflecting about his reason to organize around the alcohol-free way of life and to join the Swedish IOGT-NTO movement. He shares compelling insights into the workings of the alcohol norm in Sweden and his take on the revolutionary times we are living in, as the shitty, sexist and violent alcohol norm is being replaced by a new and better social culture…

BLOG: The French Dry January: A Success Story Despite Wine Makers’ Lobby And The Complicity of President Macron

The first ever Dry January campaign in France faced stiff opposition from the wine lobby and from President Macron. After originally committing to the campaign, the government withdrew its support in a bow to the lobby pressure of the alcohol industry.
But as Prof Naassila writes in this inspiring article, more than 30 civil society groups joined forces, defied the President and wine lobby and accomplished a remarkable success in the first year of the January challenge “à la française”.
Read about impressive numbers and the story behind the success and find out about the chances that 2021 will see another Dry January challenge…

BLOG: Young Progressives Are The Biggest Hypocrites

Alcohol is a social justice issue, maybe the biggest social justice issue that keeps being ignored. The question is: Where are all the progressives?
In his provocative and powerful blog post, Filip turns to people who claim to fight for justice and solidarity, asking: Where are you, democratic socialists? Where are you left-wing oriented activists? This permanently present question in the fight against the alcohol industry is still echoing without answers…

BLOG: The Situation In Southern African Countries Regarding Covid-19 And Alcohol: An Overview

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic Southern African leaders are making bold political choices to save the lives of their citizenry. One of these choices relates to the prevention and reduction of alcohol harm in the eight Southern African countries.
Aadielah, Maurice and Tunga examine the responses in each of these countries and analyze challenges and opportunities. They also dive into similarities and differences among the countries and expose some of the strategies of the alcohol industry.
In general, their timely blog post illustrates that alcohol is being addressed as a potential obstacle to the effective adoption of the key tools in the fight against COVID-19 – physical distancing and personal (hand) hygiene. To address this problem, there is, in most countries in the region, at least a partial ban on alcohol. Common to almost all is that bars, restaurants and nightclubs are shut down but, in some at least, bottle stores and other retail outlets that sell liquor are allowed to be open for a legislated period of time…

BLOG: Collective Denial and the Surprises of Seeing Beyond the Alcohol Norm

Many people and societies are in denial about the workings of the current alcohol norm and who is actually benefiting from it.
In this powerful blog, Lucy Rocco, the superstar behind Soberistas, exposes the truth about the alcohol norm, how it harms people and who benefits from it. It’s a truth that took Lucy many years to acknowledge herself. Starting from her own, inspiring personal story, she reveals how booze culture affects people during the current public health crisis. But Lucy writes, beyond these problems there lies the promise of better physical and mental health – something she has been able to enjoy and harness over the last nine years…