Welcome to the weekly Alcohol Issues Newsletter No. 18 with carefully curated alcohol policy news, highlights from our latest science digest, brand new Big Alcohol revelations, and a Special Feature to keep you in the know about the most important alcohol issues.
This Alcohol Issues Newsletter edition has it all: special events alerts, a brand new Alcohol Issues Podcast episode and much more…


No. 18, May 03, 2021 – May 09, 2021

This week’s Special Feature explores alcohol pricing as a policy solution to protect people’s health from harm caused by cheap alcohol products with a focus on minimum unit pricing (MUP) pioneered by Scotland and coming in to effect in Ireland in January 2022…

Alcohol issues from our Policy Newsfeed cover a community victory triumph over the alcohol industry in Darwin, Australia; three country alcohol policy success stories; two stories of communities calling for better alcohol policies from Uganda and Cambodia; and a story from Germany where the government mulls plans to lower the beer tax…

Alcohol issues from our Science Digest cover one study about policy requirements for preventing and managing FASD in South Africa; and a study examining the effects of COVID-19 (stay-at-home orders) of adolescent substance use…

Alcohol issues from our Big Alcohol Watch expose how the alcohol industry interferes with public health policy through funding and donations…

Our Special Event Alert highlights two upcoming WHO events that promise to be interesting, one is a webinar on alcohol (harm and policy) and inequality; and the other one is the third Forum on Alcohol, other Drugs, and Addictive Behaviors (FADAB3)…

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Special Feature – No. 18

Minimum unit pricing of alcohol to protect people from the products and practices of the alcohol industry

Alcohol pricing as a policy solution is the single most cost-effective, proven and impactful measure to protect people’s health from harm caused by the products and practices of the alcohol industry. Alcohol taxation is especially beneficial but in addition minimum unit pricing is receiving increasing attention and sees considerable momentum having been pioneered by Scotland and coming in to effect in Ireland in January 2022…

The Inner Workings of the Public Health Alcohol Act In Ireland: From MUP To Changing the Alcohol Norm

The cabinet of Ireland has decided to introduce the minimum unit price (MUP) policy as per section 11 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act of Ireland. Accordingly, a floor price of 10 cents per gram of alcohol will be in effect from January 1, 2022. 

MUP policy is a targeted policy solution which reduces cheap alcohol products thus, decreasing heavy alcohol use problems. The policy was first implemented by Scotland and later by several other Jurisdictions. The alcohol industry has been opposing the policy since the industry makes majority of their profits from heavy alcohol use and MUP specifically reduces this issue.

For the 17th episode of the Alcohol Issues Podcast host Maik Dünnbier welcomes Dr Sheila Gilheany. They discuss the alcohol policy model of Ireland including the MUP policy. They also explore the alcohol norm in Ireland and how the alcohol industry fuels cognitive dissonance, misconceptions and inertia, despite pervasive alcohol harm. Despite this the country adopted a comprehensive set of policies in the Public Health Alcohol Act. Dr Gilheany share the journey of adopting this policy and inspiring lessons learnt.

MUP: Cost-effective, targeted policy solution to protect people’s health

Three articles covering a period of three years from 2019 to 2021 providing evidence of effectiveness of minimum unit price (MUP) policy in three different jurisdictions.

Assessment of MUP as a policy tool to reduce health inequality

Analyses by two jurisdictions on minimum unit pricing policy as a tool to reduce health inequalities, protect lives and boost the economy.

Alcohol industry opposition to MUP

Four articles expose alcohol industry strategies in delaying and attempts to derail MUP policies. The alcohol industry opposes minimum unit pricing (MUP) policies since it targets cheap alcohol which drives heavy alcohol consumption. The alcohol industry makes most of their profits from heavy alcohol users.

Special Event Alert

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