Views & Reviews Review of the week

The alcohol industry: taking on the public health critics

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39337.431667.4E (Published 27 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:671
  1. Michael Farrell, reader in addiction psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
  1. m.farrell{at}iop.kcl.ac.uk

    The thriving alcohol industry wants its products associated with health and happiness—and is pulling out all the stops to defeat its critics, Michael Farrell finds

    The worldwide alcohol industry is flying high. With economic growth, changes in lifestyles, and the erosion of traditional customs and mores in many developing countries, the commercial production and consumption of alcohol has been booming. New competition within the industry has seen unparalleled growth, especially in the Asia Pacific region. And the party has only just begun. Some marketing organisations predict major growth in the cognac, whisky, and other spirits niches as Chinese markets continue to expand. The one cloud on the horizon is the public health sector. The alcohol industry wants to learn and avoid the mistakes that other industries have made; thus it has examined carefully the current state of the tobacco industry, the ever tightening regulation of smoking in public places, and the falling prevalence of smoking in developed countries.

    The alcohol industry has been keen to emphasise that alcohol is not …

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