Higher Taxes on Alcohol, Tighter Marketing Regulations to Curb Its Excessive Use

Measures like higher taxes on alcoholic drinks and tighter marketing regulations will be adopted by the health ministers to try to eradicate the menace of binge drinking and other growing forms of excessive alcohol use. This global strategy was adopted by consensus at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization.

Bernt Bull, a senior adviser in Norway's Health Ministry said, “Alcohol contributes to accidents, mental health problems, social problems and harms third parties”. The initiative at the United Nations agency, was led by Nordic countries, which already follow tight restrictions on alcohol sales

Bull shared that a high excise tax on alcoholic beverages and limiting the availability by regulations will help in reducing alcohol-related diseases in Norway.

According to the estimates of WHO alcohol causes 2.5 million deaths a year including heart and liver disease, road accidents, suicides and various cancers. Alcohol is the third most important risk factor for untimely deaths and disabilities across the globe.

Shekhar Saxena, Director of WHO's department of mental health and substance abuse shared that Alcohol is a killer, but it is not perceived so.

Vladimir Poznyak, a WHO expert said, “The biggest changes might happen in those countries which have no alcohol control institutions or regulatory framework for alcohol consumption”.