Two new reports demonstrate the
need for a comprehensive set of measures to be put in place to combat problem
drinking, AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today.
The British Medical Association
(BMA) recently released an expert report: "Under the
Influence: The damaging effect of
alcohol on young people".
The report coincides with the
release today of research by The National Drug Research
Institute (NDRI) which shows that
risky alcohol consumption caused the death of 32,696
Australians in the 10 years from
1996 to 2005, and 813,072 Australians were hospitalised due to alcohol-caused
injury and disease over the same period. This is a 30% rise in alcohol-caused
injury and disease in ten years, and the trend is set to continue, according to
The BMA report concludes that:
"alcohol marketing communications have a powerful effect on young people and
are independently linked with the onset, amount, and continuance of their
Dr Pesce said the BMA report
backed several AMA recommendations designed to address dangerous levels of
alcohol consumption in Australia, including imposing a minimum price level for
alcohol drinks and limiting the geographical density of licensed premises.
"The continued rise in
preventable harms and injuries from alcohol abuse over the last decade is very
disturbing and should be a big reality check for the Australian government and
the community," Dr Pesce said.
"The AMA believes that there are
particular measures that the government can implement easily and immediately to
turn back the rising tide of alcohol-related harm.
"All targeted marketing of
alcohol products to adolescents and teenagers should be prohibited, along with
sponsorship of sporting events by alcohol manufacturers.
"The taxation of alcoholic beverages should be tied to
the alcohol volume of the beverages, so that high alcohol drinks are more out
of reach to young people"