Welcome to SHAAP’s (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems) weekly media monitoring service.

10 March 2017


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This briefing aims to provide a ‘snap shot’ of latest news on alcohol and health policy. The inclusion of an article in the briefing should not imply that SHAAP approves or condones the content.

SHAAP provides a coordinated, coherent and authoritative medical and clinical voice on the need to reduce the impact of alcohol related harm on the health and wellbeing of the people in Scotland. 
Cigarettes and booze are about to get more expensive
To all smokers and those who enjoy a tipple – if you’re yet to see Philip Hammond’s Budget forecast, it’s bad news. As of 6pm tonight a pack of cigarettes now costs at least £8.82 (an extra 35p to a pack of 20 cigarettes). And a 30g pack of rolling tobacco will set you back an additional 42p. For those hitting the pub later, enjoy cheaper booze while it lasts. From Monday March 13, there will be 2p added to a pint, 10p to a bottle of wine and 30p to a bottle of whisky. [...]
Source: Metro, 08 March 2017

Whisky industry up in arms over duty shock
SCOTLAND'S £5billion whisky industry has reacted furiously to a hike in excise duty in the budget which will add around 36p to the average bottle of spirits from Monday. The price rise will have the biggest impact on start-up distilleries, including the new wave of Scottish gin makers, as they rely most heavily on the domestic market to become established. Alcohol excise duty has been cut or frozen for three years, but will now rise by 3.9 per cent. The industry said the rise was particularly galling in light of Theresa May referring to whisky as “a truly great Scottish and British industry” at last week’s Scottish Tory conference. [...]
Source: The Herald Scotland, 09 March 2017

Tesco UK To Ramp Up Low And No-Alcohol Wine Offer
Tesco UK is making plans to beef up its low and no-alcohol wine offering, following a surge in consumer demand for such SKUs, according to It is considering a dedicated bay for such drinks, which could be implemented as early as mid-March. In the UK, the value of this category went up by 39% over the year leading up to 10 September 2016, according to Nielsen figures. Tesco will introduce new SKUs within the category over the next weeks, incorporating them into a drinks festival planned for the upcoming Easter period. “When products are easier to find and retailers give them more space, then it has more exposure and space generates sales and that created momentum,” commented Andrew Turner of Halewood Wines & Spirits, which will supply Tesco with its first sparkling wine SKUs over the next weeks, in conversation with the drinks publication. [...]
Source: ESM - The European Supermarket Magazine, 06 March 2017

Alcohol deaths increase exponentially
Concerns have been raised over the rapid rise of alcohol related deaths in Aberdeenshire over the last year. Members of the licensing forum met yesterday to discuss what could be done to halt the “exponential” increase of drink related fatalities. As a result a letter was drafted to the local authority’s licensing board and proposals to launch a community-wide consultation into the matter were also discussed. During the meeting vice-convener of the forum, Bill Duncan, said the alcohol related death rate has “been steadily increasing” since 2010. He said: “We want to invite members of the public to the next meeting. We are concerned about the exponential increase in alcohol consumption in recent years and wish to persuade the board to consider undertaking precautions to prevent the situation getting worse.” [...]
Source: The Press and Journal, 09 March 2017

Scottish kids as young as nine treated for alcohol-related brain damage
Children as young as
 nine are being treated
 for alcohol-related brain damage. Figures show 163 kids living in Glasgow have been affected since January 2011. A nine-year-old boy, who was seen by doctors in 2012, was the youngest person to be treated for a mental or behavioural disorder caused by prolonged alcohol misuse. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have treated more than 17,000 people of all ages for some form of booze-related brain damage since 2011. Of those, 93 were boys and 69 were girls aged 13-17. Alison Douglas, chief
executive of Alcohol Focus
Scotland, said: “Glasgow has the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital stays in Scotland. It is particularly concerning that
so many children and young people need hospital treatment because of their drinking. [...]
Source: Scottish Daily Record, 02 March 2017

Video games with heavy alcohol and smoking influence teens
The answer comes from academic research, which found that images and references to alcohol and tobacco, when contained within in popular video games, influence teenagers. This related to a study conducted in the U.K. The report also found that video game rating and age restrictions are not working effectively. The research was conducted at The University of Nottingham and it represents the first ever analysis of best-selling video games in relation to drinking and smoking behavior. Other studies of video games and the consequential impact on behavior have tended to focus on the impact of violence or sexual content. The shift in emphasis to drinking and smoking represents a new area of concern. The essential question is whether teens who watch images of people drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco products begin to see this as socially acceptable and whether or not they seek out to copy and indulge in these activities. [...] 
Source: Digital Journal, 05 March 2017

Drink drive limit should be lowered, LGA says
Council chiefs have called for the drink drive limit in England and Wales to be cut to help cut road accidents. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils all fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales, said the Government should lower the limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. It said lowering the limit could save up to 170 lives in the first year, rising to more than 300 lives in the sixth year, and save £300m annually by reducing the number of 999 responses and hospital admissions. Cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: ‘England and Wales will soon have the highest drink drive limit in Europe which is not sending the right message to motorists and safety campaigners. [...]
Source: LocalGov, 06 March 2017 SB

Voices: Alcohol, gender and not drinking
In this week’s SB Voices opinion column, Kristiane Sherry explores whether the industry is doing enough to tackle stereotypes associated with not drinking – especially for women and gender variant people. Earlier this week a friend sent across a link to an article by Kristi Coulter: “Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink”. The piece is not new – published last year and widely circulated – but, as one might expect from such a title, it continues to stir up emotive debate about why and how women drink. First up: as a white, cisgender woman who works in and writes about the alcohol industry, I can only comment from a very narrow viewpoint. Also, I don’t want to discuss here the feminist theory of the “24-hour woman” and the pressure to “have it all”, as frequently raised in the article. But what I do want to address, and what the piece continues to highlight for me, is how we as an industry treat people – especially women and gender variant people – who don’t drink. And from some initial evaluations, there are some major red flags. [...]
Source: The Spirits Business, 03 March 2017

Our study suggests alcohol may actually protect eyewitness memory – here's how
Ever witnessed a punch up during a boozy night out? Did you assume that you probably wouldn’t be a reliable witness because you’d been drinking? You may have been right, but our latest research indicates that in some circumstances this is not the case. There is a strong link between alcohol and crime. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, 70% of public violent incidents in 2013-14 were alcohol related and 93% of those happened in pubs, bars and clubs where alcohol is sold. Given these numbers, it is likely that many witnesses and victims will be under the influence when they witness a crime. But are drunk witnesses always less reliable than sober ones? In certain situations alcohol can have a beneficial effect on memory. Our study, published in Psychopharmacology, shows that if alcohol is consumed after witnessing a crime it can protect memory from misleading information. [...]
Source: The Conversation UK, 08 March 2017

This vodka company’s adverts were banned for linking alcohol to sexual activity
Three adverts from Black Cow Vodka have been banned for being socially irresponsible and for linking the vodka to sexual activity. Why you really shouldn't wear makeup to the gym» The first of the three adverts for Black Cow Vodka, created by Dorset dairy farmer Jason Barber, featured a cartoon of a cow driving a sleigh, and had the tagline: ‘Black Cow pure milk vodka. So smooth you can drink it until the cows come home.’ [...]
Source: Metro, 09 March 2017

Limerick priests and publicans criticise Good Friday alcohol ban
Keeping pubs closed ‘absolutely and totally pointless’ given rise in home drinking An “awful lot of pubs are open” on Good Friday, serving drink behind closed doors, Michael Noonan has said in an interview with his local newspaper in Limerick. The Minister for Finance was responding to renewed calls for the ban on serving alcohol on Good Friday to be lifted, with the current legislation described as “archaic” by the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI). One academic study has estimated the ban costs the exchequer €6 million in excise duties. “I don’t have a strong view on it,” Mr Noonan told the Limerick Leader. “I’m kind of traditionalist, in having at least one day in the year when the pubs aren’t open. But the fact of the matter is that an awful lot of pubs are open anyway, and they are serving alcohol behind closed doors. [...]
Source: Irish Times, 06 March 2017

Dalai Lama Shares Unique Approach To Alcoholism With John Oliver
The Dalai Lama offered a bizarre trick that he says helped him get Mongolians to stop drinking so much. Last Sunday, on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, the comedian took a break from covering politics to visit the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, where the Tibetan religious leader has lived in exile for the past 50 years. In a wide-ranging interview that covered China’s portrayal of the Dalai Lama as a “demon” and an “evil wolf,” and the Dalai Lama’s successor, the interview took a bizarre turn towards an unusual approach to alcoholism in Mongolia, reports the Huffington Post. [...]
Source: the fix, 07 March 2017


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