training and events
Clondalkin Drugs Task Force Conference
The focus of the 2013 Clondalkin Drugs Task Force conference on Wednesday, June 26, will be harm reduction approaches to aclohol and the integration of responses to alcohol and drug misuse within locally based drugs services
Institute of Public Health: Open Conference
Following the success of the Open Conference held In Belfast last year the IPH invites you to attend the 2nd Public Health Open Conference on Tuesday, 8 October 2013 in Croke Park
Health Impact Assessment Training
The next IPH Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Comprehensive Training course will take place on 23 - 25 September 2013 in the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast
Online Conference: Digital Alcohol Marketing
EUCAM will examine digital alcohol marketing practices and their impact on the drinking habits of young people during an online conference in October
EPHA 4th Annual Conference
On 4 and 5 September, the European Public Health Alliance will celebrate 20 years of helping shape Europe’s public health at a conference in Brussels entitled "Brave New World: Inclusive Growth and Well-Being or Vested Interests and Lost Generations?"
Alcohol and the world of work: International perspectives and solutions
Alcohol Concern Cymru’s annual conference, in partnership with CAIS, Drink Wise North West and Glyndŵr University at the Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndŵr University, Wrexham, Wednesday 18 September 2013
alcohol headlines – national and international
WHO Director-General addresses health promotion conference on Big Tobacco, Big Food, Big Soda and Big Alcohol
Is alcohol advertising harming girls?
HSE to be told of parents’ drink and drug crimes
Reilly: Drink ads ban won’t cause sky to fall in
Drinks companies’ sponsorship of sport will end – the only question is when
Departments query alcohol sports ban
How sport has sold its soul and players to the alcohol industry
End-stage liver disease crisis in teen drinkers
Diageo boss under fire over drink sponsor row
Letter to The Irish Times from Dr Declan Aherne on alcohol sponsorship of sports
‘For God’s sake — real shame’: Harper’s Guinness photo op rankled Irish politician
Forget the Guinness publicity shots, drinks giant Diageo doesn't need us
Experts speak about the need for a renewed and strong European alcohol strategy
Alcohol-related liver disease patients deserve better care, says report
A letter to the Irish Medical Times regarding its regular wine feature
Under no circumstances should anyone ever engage in water activities under the influence of alcohol
Glasgow project offers early help to change drinking habits
Ban alcohol adverts at music and sport events, says charity
List of shame targets alcohol ads
Half of nation’s pubs at high risk of failure
Down the hatch — there’s the catch
Evidence confirms that urgent improvements are needed in alcohol labelling
Inside Track: Alcohol focus will switch to mothers-to-be
The scourge of alcohol abuse needs to be tackled
Practice nurses can ID alcohol problems
Gilmore backs ban on alcohol sponsorship
I didn’t have a ‘drink problem’, but I had a problem with the way I was drinking
Sport cannot be intimately linked to alcohol, says Minister
College of Physicians worried about ‘catastrophic’ level of alcohol-related deaths
Young women's drinking level 'scary'
Mums-to-be are playing 'Russian roulette' with alcohol
Fewer tobacco products, but not alcohol, in movies
Suicide report – alcohol is a factor in 50pc of all cases
news   more news »
did you know?

The projected number of new cases of alcohol-related cancers in the Republic of Ireland is expected to double by the year 2020 for women and to increase by 81% for men during the same period More alcohol-related facts
news
Diageo’s threat to scale back its Irish operations highlights the potential of proposed measures to improve public health
by Alcohol Action Ireland

Alcohol Action Ireland has called on the Government not to bow to pressure from corporate interests as it prepares its plan to tackle alcohol-related harm.

“Diageo’s threat to ‘pull back’ on its Irish operations if the Government implements a ban on alcohol sponsorship of sports is the clearest example yet of the alcohol industry’s ongoing attempts to translate its financial power into political power and halt the current attempts to tackle this country’s harmful relationship with alcohol,” said Professor Joe Barry of Alcohol Action Ireland.

“Unfortunately, this financial power already allows the alcohol industry to effectively speak on behalf of our sporting organisations, which are dependent on its sponsorship, but our Government must resist these tactics, which are effectively a crude effort to influence and shape the public health policy and alcohol strategy that will ultimately affect the alcohol industry’s products.

“The reality of the situation is that for our harmful relationship with alcohol to be addressed we need to change our culture and to drink less. That is the overall aim of all the recommendations of the Steering Group Report on the National Substance Misuse Strategy, of which the recommendation to phase out alcohol sponsorship is just one,” said Professor Barry.

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Irish men are at an increased risk of cancer and their drinking habits are part of the problem
by Conor Cullen, Communications Officer

he latest report on cancer in Ireland contains a telling quote about our attitude to alcohol:

“Despite the attempts to combat excess alcohol intake through policy… it is clear that the general population underestimates, ignores or is unaware of the risks.”

The Excess Burden of Cancer Among Men, a report commissioned by the Irish Cancer Society, shows once again the cancer risks posed by alcohol consumption.

Published during Men’s Health Week, the report says that projections indicate that between 2005 and 2035 the overall number of invasive cancers is to increase by 213%, or 7% annually, for men compared to 165%, or 6% annually, for women.

We know that a lot of this increase in cancer rates is being driven by lifestyle choices, such as smoking, physical inactivity, poor diets and, of course, alcohol use.

A recent study on the impact of alcohol consumption on cancer cases in eight European countries reported that up to 10% of all cancers in men and 3% in women may be attributed to alcohol consumption.

In Ireland, men are approximately twice as likely as women to report drinking over their low-risk weekly limit and also to binge drink, thereby putting themselves at a much greater risk of alcohol-related cancers than their female counterparts.

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Why is it important to bring alcohol sponsorship of sports to an end?
by Conor Cullen, Communications Officer

The Steering Group Report on the National Substance Misuse Strategy contains 45 recommendations to reduce alcohol-related harm in Ireland, but if you are not familiar with the process then recently you’d be forgiven for thinking it only contained one.

Recent media coverage of the measures proposed by Minister Alex White for inclusion in the Public (Health) Alcohol Bill has focused almost exclusively on one issue – alcohol sponsorship of sports. You may have heard passing mention of measures relating to pricing and availability or some of the many other recommendations, but certainly not much.

It’s easy to see why the proposal to phase out alcohol sponsorship of sports by 2020 generates easy headlines. You have the biggest sporting organisations in the country involved; you have the alcohol industry and its considerable financial clout lobbying against it and then there’s the strong political element to it, with the Cabinet seemingly split on the proposal.

The extensive coverage also shows how strongly Irish people feel about sporting matters, but then if we didn’t feel that way, and have such a high level of interest in sports, the alcohol companies wouldn’t be pumping so much money into these sponsorship deals and fighting so hard to retain their close links to our sporting organisations.

However, the debate is currently being framed in a way that suggests that those in favour of the proposed ban, including Alcohol Action Ireland, see it, and it alone, as the answer to alcohol-related harm in Ireland. We don’t.

We see it as part of a multi-faceted plan (remember, there are 44 other recommendations) to tackle a complex problem, which will hopefully result in Irish people drinking less – a result which would see the massive burden of alcohol-related harm on the people on this country lessened considerably. The proposals, all of them together, are effectively a blueprint to change our harmful relationship with alcohol.

However, getting somewhat lost amid the current debate about alcohol sponsorship of sports is this key question: Why is it important to bring alcohol sponsorship of sports to an end?

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research and reports
Status Report on Alcohol and Health in 35 European-Countries
The third leading risk for burden of disease in Europe is alcohol use, and alcohol consumption is almost double the global average. The European Region was the first WHO region to adopt a policy instrument for Member States in 1992, and most recently, an action plan for the implementation of the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol in 2011. The report is divided into three parts. Part 1 covers consumption and harm. Part 2 covers the policy response in the 10 action areas of the European action plan. Part 3 is a new way of presenting the major steps or milestones in the development of policy and action to reduce alcohol-related harm by country and year from 2006 to 2012.
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A Report on the Excess Burden of Cancer Among Men in the Republic of Ireland
The report provides a most valuable overview of the significant issues influencing male mortality and cancer risk. While genetic risk factors for developing cancer can be attributed to a proportion of cancer incidences across a number of cancer sites, lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol use, diet and obesity impact significantly upon cancer incidence and are considerably more important. This report makes a number of recommendations around alcohol in Ireland. A recent study on the burden of alcohol consumption on incidence of cancer in eight European countries reported that up to 10% of cancers in men and 3% of cancers in women may be attributed to alcohol consumption. In the Republic of Ireland, the most recent SLÁN data indicates that men are approximately twice as likely as women to report drinking over the weekly limit and to binge drink.
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The impact of the Alcohol Act on off-trade alcohol sales in Scotland
Researchers at NHS Health Scotland and the University of Glasgow found that the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act which included a ban on multi-buy promotions, was associated with a 4% drop in the amount of wine sold in Scotland's supermarkets and off-licences. In the year since the Act was introduced, there was a 2.6% decrease in the amount of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland.
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Children’s and young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising
This report from Ofcom sets out the findings of analysis examining trends in young people's exposure to television advertising of alcoholic products in the UK between 2007 and 2011. The analysis looks at trends among children aged 4-15 (including sub-groups of 4-9 and 10-15 year olds) and adults aged 16-24 (including the sub-group 16-17 year olds1). The report looks at how the amount of advertising seen by these demographic groups has changed and considers this in the context of changes in viewing habits and the volume of advertising shown on commercial television channels. The report shows that children in the UK saw an average of 3.7 alcohol adverts per week in 2010 and 3.2 in 2011, compared with 2.7 in 2000.
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Suicide in Ireland: 2003 - 2008
This report, which was carried out by Prof Kevin Malone of UCD’s school of medicine and St Vincent’s hospital, and funded by the charity 3Ts (Turn the Tide of Suicide), found that alcohol was a factor in half of the cases of suicide it looked at. The study is based on interviews with families involving 104 suicides between 2003 and 2008. The vast majority of those who died (84) were males, with 14 people taking their lives when they were aged 20 – the highest number of suicides among any one age group.
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Preventing Alcohol Use Disorders Among Children and Adolescents in the EU
A report commissioned by the EU cites research showing the long-term health effects of even moderate drinking among children. "Preventing Alcohol Use Disorders Among Children and Adolescents in the EU" was published by the Working Group on the Quality of Childhood at the European Parliament. The Working Group is a think-tank informing policy makers and other interested parties about current issues concerning childhood and adolescence and offering policy recommendations to EU institutions and member states.
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Your View
Your comments, suggestions and feedback in relation to any of the items in this newsletter are most welcome. Please email conor@alcoholactionireland.ie

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