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Advancing Public Health by Alcohol Control: International Perspectives

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 September 2022) | Viewed by 20179

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Public Health Institute, 6001 Shellmound St., Suite 450, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA
Interests: the epidemiology of alcohol use and problems; alcohol policy studies; regulatory environments and externalities; alcohol-related problem and consumption measurement; drinking patterns and mortality, alcohol related health disparities; cultural and ethnic variations in drinking behavior; services research and consumer satisfaction with services
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, 6001 Shellmound St, Suite 450, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA
Interests: alcohol policy; alcohol epidemiology; alcohol outlets; alcohol spatial analyses; alcohol’s harms to others; multinational alcohol policy studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advanced studies of alcohol control policies are critical for designing, enacting and enforcing effective alcohol policies and other environmental measures to reduce alcohol consumption and the toll of related problems.  With the majority of such studies originating in high-income countries, there is a pressing need for research evaluating alcohol control policies in low- and middle-income countries.  We seek contributions considering both alcohol’s chronic and acute harms to the individual, and harms to others, such as family and child harms, interpersonal violence, homicide, and other harms to others beside the drinker as policy outcomes.   We seek papers that address impacts of alcohol control and environmental measures that promise to reduce the public health burden of alcohol problems from an international perspective.  Papers could cover multiple or single national policies, state or provincial policies, or even organizational policies, such as workplace and military alcohol policies to inform international efforts to reduce alcohol’s harms.  In addition to specific policy appraisals, we are interested in reviews, conceptual work, and simulations that help identify mechanisms of policy action.  Last, we know even less about the policy and legislative development process--locally, nationally, and internationally--and papers addressing this important domain of facilitators and barriers to how alcohol control measures get enacted are also encouraged.  We will give preference to papers from LMICs but welcome submission from countries of all income groups.

Dr. Thomas K. Greenfield
Dr. Pamela Trangenstein
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • alcohol control
  • alcohol policies
  • alcohol problems
  • alcohol law enactment
  • alcohol environment
  • cross-national alcohol policy studies
  • low- and middle-income countries or settings
  • alcohol pricing, marketing, or availability

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 660 KiB  
Article
The Association among Alcohol Consumption Patterns, Drink-Driving Behaviors, and the Harm from Alcohol-Related Road Traffic Injuries Due to the Drinking of Others in Thailand
by Sopit Nasueb, Jintana Jankhotkaew, Polathep Vichitkunakorn and Orratai Waleewong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 16281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192316281 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1442
Abstract
Thailand has one of the highest rates of traffic-related fatalities and alcohol-related road traffic injuries globally. Previous studies focused on alcohol consumption and road traffic injuries. However, no existing studies investigate the association between drink-driving behaviors and road traffic injuries due to the [...] Read more.
Thailand has one of the highest rates of traffic-related fatalities and alcohol-related road traffic injuries globally. Previous studies focused on alcohol consumption and road traffic injuries. However, no existing studies investigate the association between drink-driving behaviors and road traffic injuries due to the drinking of others. This study aims to explore any potential associations among alcohol drinking patterns, drink-driving behaviors, and the harm from alcohol-related road traffic injuries due to the drinking of others. The Thai Tobacco and Alcohol Use Household National Survey data in 2017 (n = 80,797) were analyzed using multiple logistic regression. This study found that current drinkers and binge drinkers were more likely to suffer from road traffic injuries due to others’ drink-driving behavior, i.e., 1.50 times (95% CI: 1.49–1.51) and 2.31 times (95% CI: 2.30–2.33), respectively, compared with non-drinkers. In addition, we found that drink-driving behavior was associated with harm from road traffic injuries due to others’ drink-driving behavior by 2.12 times (95% CI: 2.10–2.14) compared with the non-drinker group. This study calls for effective measures to reduce drink-driving behaviors to prevent road traffic injuries due to the drinking of others. Full article
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11 pages, 629 KiB  
Article
Preventing Alcohol-Related Harm in East Africa: Stakeholder Perceptions of Readiness across Five Countries
by Monica H. Swahn, Zakaria Robow, Adelaide Balenger, Catherine A. Staton, Rogers Kasirye, Joel M. Francis, Sophia Komba and Patterson Siema
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214979 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
Objective: While alcohol-related harm is a recognized public health priority, the capacity to address and mitigate its harm is lacking, primarily in low-income countries. Recent developments including new tools that can assess readiness for preventing alcohol-related harm, specifically in low-resource settings, can be [...] Read more.
Objective: While alcohol-related harm is a recognized public health priority, the capacity to address and mitigate its harm is lacking, primarily in low-income countries. Recent developments including new tools that can assess readiness for preventing alcohol-related harm, specifically in low-resource settings, can be used to determine strengths and opportunities for supporting, planning, and resource allocation. In this study, we determined the perceptions of readiness and capacity for the prevention of alcohol-related harm across East Africa among stakeholders engaged in such work. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 2020, distributed by the East Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance to their member alliances and stakeholders across five countries in East Africa (i.e., Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). The survey included modified measures from the Readiness Assessment for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment (RAP-CM) short form, organizational size and funding, research capacity and priorities, and perceptions related to alcohol prevention and harm both locally and in the region. Analyses were computed based on 142 persons/organizations completing the survey. Results: In terms of general readiness, the overall adjusted aggregate score for East Africa was 39.70% (ranging from 30.5% in Burundi to 47.0% in Kenya). Of the 10 domains assessed (on a 0–10 scale), across all countries, knowledge of alcohol prevention (8.43), institutional links and resources (6.15) and legislation, mandates and policies (5.46) received the highest scores. In contrast, measures pertaining to resources (i.e., material, human, technical, and informal) received the lowest score. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate substantial variability in the readiness to address alcohol-related harm across East Africa. The highest capacity was noted for knowledge towards alcohol prevention, institutional links, and legislative mandates and policies. However, important gaps were noted in terms of attitudes towards alcohol prevention, the will to address the problem, as well as material, human, and informal resources, which need to be urgently addressed to strengthen capacity for addressing and mitigating the significant toll of alcohol-related harm in the region. Full article
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14 pages, 960 KiB  
Article
The Comprehensive Alcohol Advertising Ban in Lithuania: A Case Study of Social Media
by Lukas Galkus, Shannon Lange, Vaida Liutkutė-Gumarov, Laura Miščikienė, Janina Petkevičienė, Jürgen Rehm, Mindaugas Štelemėkas, Alexander Tran and Justina Vaitkevičiūtė
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912398 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2442
Abstract
Alcohol advertising exposure is a risk factor for earlier alcohol initiation and higher alcohol consumption. Furthermore, engagement in digital alcohol marketing, such as liking or sharing an ad on social media, is associated with increased alcohol consumption and binge or hazardous drinking behavior. [...] Read more.
Alcohol advertising exposure is a risk factor for earlier alcohol initiation and higher alcohol consumption. Furthermore, engagement in digital alcohol marketing, such as liking or sharing an ad on social media, is associated with increased alcohol consumption and binge or hazardous drinking behavior. In light of these challenges, Lithuania has enacted a total prohibition on alcohol advertising, including social media. This study monitored the two most popular social media networks, Facebook and Instagram, to determine compliance with current legislation. In total, 64 Facebook and 51 Instagram profiles were examined. During the 60-day study period, 1442 and 749 posts on the selected Facebook and Instagram profiles, respectively, were published. There were a total of 163 distinct social media alcohol-related posts. Alcohol-related posts accounted for 5.9 percent of total Instagram posts and 8.3 percent of total Facebook posts. Alcohol advertisements accounted for 1.4 percent of all posts (infringement of the Alcohol Control Law). Influencers were responsible for nearly half (45.5 percent) of all observed alcohol-related Instagram posts. The study demonstrates high compliance with Lithuania’s total alcohol advertising ban on social media and emphasizes the importance of adequately monitoring the growing prominence of influencers on social media. Full article
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12 pages, 1010 KiB  
Article
Alcohol Recognition and Desire to Drink of Extended Alcohol Brand Logos
by Polathep Vichitkunakorn, Sawitri Assanangkornchai, Jirawan Jayuphan, Teerohah Donroman, Tagoon Prappre and Monsicha Sittisombut
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811756 - 17 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
Alcohol companies in Thailand have adopted surrogate marketing that uses similar logos on non-alcoholic products. We aimed to assess variations of the alcohol recognition using reaction time and desire to drink among consumers exposed to original logos and modified logos (i.e., black logos, [...] Read more.
Alcohol companies in Thailand have adopted surrogate marketing that uses similar logos on non-alcoholic products. We aimed to assess variations of the alcohol recognition using reaction time and desire to drink among consumers exposed to original logos and modified logos (i.e., black logos, partial logos, logos on non-alcoholic beverages and other merchandise). Participants aged ≥19 years took part in this cross-sectional study. The primary independent variables were types of logos: original logos, modified logos (i.e., black logos, partial logos, logos on non-alcoholic beverages, and logos on other merchandise). An in-house-developed online survey randomly presented the logos. Alcohol recognition and the desire to drink alcohol were assessed. The study included 1185 participants. More time (estimated coefficient of reaction time <0.5 s) was required to recognize the modified logos than the original logos. Younger participants (19–24 years) reacted significantly faster than the older participants (>25 years) after seeing all types of logos. The desire to drink alcohol (<0.5 point) upon seeing the modified logos was lower than the original logos. No significant difference in the desire was observed between the younger and older participants upon seeing the original and partial logos. The modified logos reminded consumers of the alcohol products of that brand with a tiny difference in reaction time and the desire to drink without practical significance. Full article
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14 pages, 505 KiB  
Article
Estimated Impacts of Alcohol Control Policies on NCD Premature Deaths in Thailand
by Surasak Chaiyasong, Jie Gao and Kanitta Bundhamcharoen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9623; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159623 - 04 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1936
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to assess the impacts of achieving a 10% alcohol reduction target and different alcohol policy interventions on NCD premature deaths during 2010–2025 in Thailand. Methods: The researchers estimated the impacts on three main NCDs: cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to assess the impacts of achieving a 10% alcohol reduction target and different alcohol policy interventions on NCD premature deaths during 2010–2025 in Thailand. Methods: The researchers estimated the impacts on three main NCDs: cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. These represent two ideal scenarios, which are the target reduction and five intervention scenarios. These intervention scenarios comprise taxation with 50% price increases, a total ban on advertisements, availability restriction by shortening sales times, early psychological intervention, and combined interventions. Consumption data and mortality trends were obtained from available national data. Relative risks and intervention effects were derived from the literature. Results: Achieving a 10% reduction target would lead to 3903–7997 avoidable NCD deaths. Taxation was the most effective intervention, with the highest number of avoidable NCD deaths, followed by early psychological intervention, availability restriction, and an advertisement ban. A combination of these four interventions would reduce 13,286 NCD deaths among men and 4994 NCD deaths among women, accounting for 46.8% of the NCD mortality target. Conclusion: This study suggests using Thailand as an example for low- and middle-income countries to enhance implementation and enforcement of the recommended effective alcohol policies for achieving the global targets. Full article
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16 pages, 918 KiB  
Article
Did COVID-19-Related Alcohol Sales Restrictions Reduce Alcohol Consumption? Findings from a National Online Survey in South Africa
by Marieke Theron, Rina Swart, Mukhethwa Londani, Charles Parry, Petal Petersen Williams and Nadine Harker
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042422 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5169
Abstract
Background: South Africa has a high prevalence of heavy episodic drinking (HED). Due to the high levels of alcohol misuse and violence, public hospital intensive care units were often overrun during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research investigated alcohol intake behaviour change during differing [...] Read more.
Background: South Africa has a high prevalence of heavy episodic drinking (HED). Due to the high levels of alcohol misuse and violence, public hospital intensive care units were often overrun during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research investigated alcohol intake behaviour change during differing levels of lockdown restrictions, which included bans on alcohol sales. Methods: A self-reported Facebook survey ran from July to November 2020. The questions included socio-demographics, income, alcohol intake, purchasing behaviour, and reasoning. Chi-square tests/Fisher’s exact test for categorical data, Student’s t-test for normal continuous data, and the Mann–Whitney U test for non-normal data were applied. Multiple logistic regression was run for HED versus moderate drinkers. Results: A total of 798 participants took part in the survey, of which 68.4% were female. Nearly 50% of participants fell into the HED category and the majority bought alcohol illegally during restrictions. HED respondents who drank more alcohol than usual during restrictions reported that they felt stressed, needed to relax, and were bored. Conclusions: Policies intended to increase the pricing of alcohol may have the potential to reduce alcohol intake. Reducing stress and anxiety may be key to curtailing HED during emergency situations. Full article
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Review

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13 pages, 714 KiB  
Review
Barriers and Facilitators to the Implementation of Effective Alcohol Control Policies: A Scoping Review
by Jintana Jankhotkaew, Sally Casswell, Taisia Huckle, Surasak Chaiyasong and Payao Phonsuk
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116742 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2324
Abstract
Implementation of effective alcohol control policies is a global priority. However, at the global and national levels, implementing effective policies is still challenging, as it requires commitment from multiple stakeholders. This review provides a synthesis of barriers and facilitators to implementing effective alcohol [...] Read more.
Implementation of effective alcohol control policies is a global priority. However, at the global and national levels, implementing effective policies is still challenging, as it requires commitment from multiple stakeholders. This review provides a synthesis of barriers and facilitators to implementing effective alcohol control policies. We conducted a scoping review from two main databases: Scopus and Web of Science, and the grey literature from the World Health Organization’s website. We included any studies investigating barriers and facilitators to implementing four effective policies: Alcohol pricing and taxation, control of physical availability, alcohol marketing control, and drink-driving policy. Articles published between 2000 and 2021 were included. The search yielded 11,651 articles, which were reduced to 21 after the assessment of eligibility criteria. We found five main barriers: resource constraint; legal loopholes; lack of evidence to support policy implementation, particularly local evidence; low priority of policy implementation among responsible agencies; and insufficient skills of implementers. Facilitators, which were scarce, included establishing monitoring systems and local evidence to support policy implementation and early engagement of implementing agencies and communities. We recommend that national governments pay more attention to potential barriers and facilitators while designing alcohol control regulations and implementing effective policies. Full article
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9 pages, 316 KiB  
Review
China’s Changing Alcohol Market and Need for an Enhanced Policy Response: A Narrative Review
by Shiwei Liu, Fulin Huang, Xiaolei Zhu, Suhua Zhou, Xiang Si, Yan Zhao, Yang Liu, Xiaochang Zhang and Sally Casswell
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 5866; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105866 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2533
Abstract
This study describes trends in alcohol consumption in the context of an expanding commercial context, current policy responses, and flaws in relation to international best practice for alcohol control in China. We surveyed the literature and other documents in Chinese or English up [...] Read more.
This study describes trends in alcohol consumption in the context of an expanding commercial context, current policy responses, and flaws in relation to international best practice for alcohol control in China. We surveyed the literature and other documents in Chinese or English up to December 2020 on policy responses to alcohol consumption and harm, industry structure, and marketing practices in China. Databases searched included PubMed, China National Knowledge Internet, Wanfang Data, Web of Science, and Baidu Scholar. We also scanned the official websites of government organizations and gathered information using snowballing. We analyzed existing alcohol policy against evidence-based, cost-effective policies for reducing alcohol harm. Our findings show that although some restrictive policies have been enacted with potential impacts on alcohol harm, they are not comprehensive, and some are poorly executed. The long history of alcohol use remains an important element in alcohol consumption by the Chinese population. However, alcohol marketing and promotion, ease of access, and affordability have become increasingly prominent. The gaps identified in alcohol policy suggest improved strategies and measures to reduce the harmful use of alcohol are urgently needed in China. Full article
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