How the alcohol industry relies on harmful use of alcohol and works to protect its profits
The alcohol industry have attempted to position themselves as collaborators in alcohol policy making as a way of influencing policies away from a focus on the drivers of alcohol harm – marketing, availability and affordability.
Alcohol industry framings of alcohol consumption and harms allow them to argue for ineffective measures, largely targeting heavier consumers, and against population level measures. The goal of their public relations organisations is to ‘promote responsible drinking’.
However, analysis of data collected in the International Alcohol Control study and used to estimate how much heavier alcohol consumption occasions contribute to the alcohol market in five different countries shows the alcohol industry’s reliance on the heavy use of alcohol.
In higher income countries heavier alcohol consumption occasions make up approximately 50% of sales and in middle income countries it is closer to two‐thirds.
This reliance on heavy alcohol consumption underpins the conflicting interests between the transnational alcohol corporations and public health and militates against the involvement of the alcohol industry in the alcohol policy arena.