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Open AccessArticle

“Everyone Has the Right to Drink Beer”: A Stakeholder Analysis of Challenges to Youth Alcohol Harm-Reduction Policies in Lebanon

1
Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon
2
Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon
3
Department of Health Management and Policy, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon
4
Department of Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut 1107-2020, Lebanon
5
Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, IA 52242, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162874
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 3 August 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Policy and Public Health)
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PDF [330 KB, uploaded 12 August 2019]
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Abstract

Background: Alcohol use is a major risk factor in premature death and disability, especially among youth. Evidence-based policies to prevent and control the detrimental effect of alcohol use have been recommended. In countries with weak alcohol control policies—such as Lebanon, stakeholder analysis provides critical information to influence policy interventions. This paper assesses the views of stakeholders regarding a national alcohol harm reduction policy for youth. Methods: We interviewed a total of 22 key stakeholders over a period of 8 months in 2015. Stakeholders were selected purposively, to include representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations and industry that could answer questions related to core intervention areas: affordability, availability, regulation of marketing, and drinking and driving. We analyzed interview transcripts using thematic analysis. Results: Three themes emerged: Inadequacy of current alcohol control policies; weak governance and disregard for rule of law as a determinant of the status quo; and diverting of responsibility towards ‘other’ stakeholders. In addition, industry representatives argued against evidence-based policies using time-worn strategies identified globally. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that alcohol harm reduction policies are far from becoming a policy priority in Lebanon. There is a clear need to shift the narrative from victim blaming to structural conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; youth; alcohol advertising; drinking and driving; alcohol control policy; alcohol industry; Lebanon; Arab alcohol; youth; alcohol advertising; drinking and driving; alcohol control policy; alcohol industry; Lebanon; Arab
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Nakkash, R.T.; Ghandour, L.A.; Yassin, N.; Anouti, S.; Chalak, A.; Chehab, S.; El-Aily, A.; Afifi, R.A. “Everyone Has the Right to Drink Beer”: A Stakeholder Analysis of Challenges to Youth Alcohol Harm-Reduction Policies in Lebanon. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2874.

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