IEA - The Lancet’s support for repressive regimes’ alcohol control policies is worrying
Christopher Snowdon comments on new study in The Lancet
Responding to a study in The Lancet which claims that harmful drinking is rising, and which endorses alcohol control policies modelled after repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Russia, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:
“If global alcohol consumption increases it will be because the world has become richer and freer. We should welcome a future in which everyone can afford to have a drink.
“Although this study was funded by the World Health Organisation, the authors contradict the WHO’s own figures when they claim that binge drinking is on the rise. Binge drinking declined by ten per cent globally between 2010 and 2016. In Europe, it has fallen by 20 per cent since 1990. In Britain, it has declined by a quarter since 2007.
“The authors’ admiration for repressive regimes such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brunei is concerning. Only days ago, Brunei reluctantly bowed to pressure not to enforce a law sentencing homosexuals and adulterers to death by stoning. Nearly a century after Prohibition began in America, the prohibitionist dream lives on in the modern public health movement. It should be resisted.”
Notes to editors:
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For related IEA reseach on paternalism, click here.
The Lancet study can be found here
The WHO’s binge drinking (heavy episodic drinking) figures (quoted above) are available here (p.6): http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA72/A72_19-en.pdf
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