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Lessons learned from regulating tobacco use applied to alcohol

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Date Published:
6 Jul 2011
Contact person:
Marion Downey
+612 9385 1080 / 0401 713 850

Preventing harm from alcohol misuse hasn’t received as much attention as tobacco but lessons learned from regulating tobacco use can arguably be applied to alcohol, says Dr Courtney Breen in the online publication The Conversation.

That’s because alcohol and tobacco are similar – both are addictive, toxic substances that are legal but highly regulated. Both cause a considerable health burden.

The harms caused by smoking are well documented. And despite resistance from the tobacco industry, much has been done to decrease tobacco consumption through restrictions on the availability and marketing of tobacco products.

Most recently, the Australian government, with much opposition from the tobacco industry, has introduced a Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill, which will mandate plain packaging for tobacco products.

The negative consequences of alcohol consumption, including road traffic accidents and violence, are also prevalent, costly and cause substantial public concern. In Australia, the annual social burden of alcohol-related harm is estimated at $15.3 million, which is second only to tobacco for all drug-related costs.

You can read the full article online here.

Dr Courtney Breen is a Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales. To speak to Dr Breen contact Marion Downey on the details below.

Image credit: Graur Codrin.