A new study has attributed one in 25 deaths worldwide to alcohol consumption.
According to Dr Jurgen Rehm from Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Europe has high proportion of deaths related to alcohol, with 1 in 10 deaths directly attributable.
And consumption is increasing, especially in the most populous countries of India and China.
"Today, we know more than ever about which strategies can effectively and cost-effectively control alcohol-related harms," the Lancet quoted Rehm as saying.
"Provided that our public policy makers act on these practical strategies expeditiously, we could see an enormous impact in reducing damage," he added.
Majority of deaths caused by alcohol were through injuries, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and liver cirrhosis.
"Globally, the effect of alcohol on burden of disease is about the same size as that of smoking in 2000, but it is relatively greatest in emerging economies," Rehm added.
"There are significant social, health and economic problems caused by alcohol," said Gail Czukar, CAMH's executive vice-president, Policy, Education and Health Promotion.
"But research gives us sound, proven interventions that governments and health providers can use to address these problems," Czukar added.