Welcome to our latest edition of carefully curated alcohol policy news, the latest highlights from our Science Digest, and brand-new Big Alcohol revelations.
This week’s special feature is about harnessing the power of alcohol taxation for better health and development.
The newsletter also includes our most recent Alcohol Issues Podcast episode and upcoming event alerts.

Alcohol Issues June 06 – June 10, 2022

This week’s Alcohol Issues highlights

  • World Health Assembly Adopts Historic Global Alcohol Action Plan.
  • Protecting the People of Prague from Alcohol Harm: Mayor Plans to Increase Number of Alcohol-Free Public Places.
  • The Public Health Playbook: Ideas for Challenging the Corporate Playbook.
  • Exposed: Alcohol Industry Enters Into Partnership with Youth Union in Vietnam.

This week’s most popular stories

  • Availability Matters: Teens and Adults in States with Commercial Cannabis More Likely to Begin Using.
  • Court of Law Upholds Swedish Alcohol Retail Monopoly Exclusive Right to Sell Alcohol.
  • Tobacco Industry Documents Study of the Evolution of Corporate Affairs in the Miller Brewing Company.

Special Feature – No. 18

Harnessing the Power of Alcohol Taxation

There is strong and growing evidence that pro-health taxes on health harmful products, such as tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages, are highly impactful and yield significannt return on investment.

landmark study confirmed this in 2020:

Excise tax increases on tobacco, alcohol and SSB can produce substantial health gains by reducing premature mortality while raising government revenues, which could be used to increase public health funding.”

Summan A, Stacey N, Birckmayer J, et. al. The potential global gains in health and revenue from increased taxation of tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages: a modeling analysis. BMJ Global Health 2020

The Philippines government reaped the benefits of alcohol taxation by using the taxes to partially fund their Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program. Aided by alcohol taxes the Philippines UHC program was able to deliver comprehensive health and social services for citizens amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic crisis. 

Meanwhile, in Poland, the government implemented a surcharge on small alcohol bottles last year and a tax increase at the beginning of this year to reduce alcohol harm. Already Poland is seeing results with reduced alcohol volumes sold in the country.

A growing body of evidence shows that alcohol taxation holds massive potential for global health, for helping achieve the sustainable development goals and also for significantly contributing to financing health and development.

The most cost-effective measures to prevent and address alcohol harm remain price interventions, especially through taxation.

Implementing alcohol taxation measures reaps a triple positive effect:

1. Domestic resource mobilization

Alcohol taxation generates government revenue for financing development and health promotion.

2. Reducing the health and development burden

Alcohol taxation reduces population level alcohol use and thus reduced the overall public health, social and economic harm caused by the products and practices of the alcohol industry.

3. Prevention of alcohol initiation and health promotion

Alcohol taxation helps maintain high-levels of alcohol abstention rates in low- and middle income countries.

The latest Financing for Sustainable Development report by the UN Inter-Agency Task Force highlights the importance of alcohol taxation.

The products and practices of the alcohol industry drain precious resources from countries around the world. These heavy health, social, and economic costs are even more harmful harmful now since governments need more resources to recover and build back better from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alcohol Issues Podcast

S2 E9: Achieving the SDGs Through Alcohol Policy: European Countries Ignore The Potential

In this episode, Kristina Sperkova talks with guest host Pierre Andersson about her brand new research article that investigated if and how European countries address alcohol as an obstacle to development in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Kristina and Pierre discuss the evidence of how alcohol impedes sustainable development, and what countries are doing about it. They also talk in detail about the findings of her study that show flawed understanding of alcohol harm leads to lost potential in using alcohol policy as a catalyst for sustainable development – and what concretely means in European countries.

Kristina Sperkova is the International President at Movendi International. She is the lead author of the peer-reviewed research article “Alcohol policy measures are an ignored catalyst for the achievement of the sustainable development goals” that she co-authored with Peter Anderson, and Eva Jané Llopis.

Pierre Andersson is the Policy Advisor for Alcohol and Development at the IOGT-NTO Movement, from Sweden. The IOGT-NTO Movement is a Swedish development organization that works for poverty eradication by supporting partners to tackle alcohol as an obstacle to development. Pierre has extensive experience is journalism as well as development work.

Source Website: Keep Updated with Movendi International