Editorials

International regulation of alcohol

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2364 (Published 07 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2364
  1. Robin Room, professor1,
  2. Laura Schmidt, associate professor2,
  3. Jürgen Rehm, professor and section head3,
  4. Pia Mäkelä, senior researcher4
  1. 1School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, and AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Fitzroy, Vic 3065, Australia
  2. 2Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
  3. 3Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and Section on Public Health and Regulatory Policies, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, M5S 2S1, Canada
  4. 4Alcohol and Drug Research Group, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES), 00100 Helsinki, Finland
  1. RobinR{at}turningpoint.org.au

    A framework convention is needed, as for tobacco control

    The World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health has just issued its main report,1 which lays out an ambitious programme of actions to tackle health inequity. The commission notes the substantial contribution of alcohol to injury, disease, and death worldwide,2 and it proposes that WHO and member nations should use the 2005 framework convention on tobacco control as a model for alcohol control. We agree that it is time to adopt such a framework.

    The commission’s work underscores the urgent need for international agreements that promote alcohol controls throughout the developing and developed world. Increasing affluence in the fastest developing regions of the world—East Asia, the Pacific region, and South Asia—has led to increased alcohol consumption, along with a higher burden of harm caused by alcohol. These increases foreshadow future trends in consumption and harm for other developing …

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