European health organisations warn of the smart and effective lobby of the alcohol industry

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The 7 key messages of the alcohol industry

Alcohol and tobacco companies have traditionally worked closely together and use similar arguments to defend their products to prevent or delay government restrictions being placed on them, according to a new report.

Published by a network of eleven European health organisations, Seven Key Messages of the alcohol Industry report details the attempts made by the alcohol industry to influence alcohol policy globally.

According to the report, the alcohol industry profits from governments with a policy that legally restricts them as little as possible.

“That is why the worldwide alcohol industry takes a stand against measures such as the raising of excise-duty, the introduction of minimum prices for cheap booze, raising the minimum age for buying alcoholic beverages, restricting the number of outlet points, putting warning labels on products and restricting advertisement,” the report’s authors explain.

“It’s these measures that can achieve the reduction of alcohol use and the decline of damages caused by the use of alcohol.

“The industry doesn’t mind having to do more informing, because this is mostly ineffective, does not threaten the revenues and benefits the image of the industry,” they add.

The report comes after proposals to introduce a minimum price on alcohol in Scotland were aborted in 2010 following effective and “intensive lobbying of politicians” by the alcohol industry.

The aim of the report is to give politicians, officials and health organisations insight into the strategic working manners and thinking of the alcohol industry.

Seven Messages of Alcohol Industry

The seven messages of the industry that are illuminated through examples from various countries are:

  • Consuming alcohol is normal, common, healthy and very responsible.
  • The damage done by alcohol is caused by a small group of deviants who cannot handle alcohol.
  • Normal adult non-drinkers do not, in fact, exist.
  • Ignore the fact that alcohol is a harmful and addictive chemical substance (ethanol) for the body.
  • Alcohol problems can only be solved when all parties work together.
  • Alcohol marketing is not harmful. It is simply intended to assist the consumer in selecting a certain product or brand.
  • Education about responsible use is the best method to protect society from alcohol problems.

The report can be ordered through EUCAM, a partnership of a number of European health organisations.

To view a copy of the   Seven Key Messages of the alcohol Industry report, click here