The EU strategy to tackle alcohol harm is being renewed this year

The EU strategy to tackle alcohol harm is being renewed this year

European spirits producers have warned that pricing controls, such as minimum pricing, are not the “silver bullet” for tackling alcohol harm and are "too simplistic". 

In a report released today (March 20), The European Spirits Organisation – CEPS - said that, as alcohol harm affects “sub-groups of the drinking population, policy options should be designed to target these groups”. The group was commenting on EU Strategy to help countries tackle alcohol problems. 

The report said that looking at measures such as "price policy tools, advertising bans" as ways to cut availability and consumption and "therefore problem consumption and alcohol-related harm" is "too simplistic." 

The report earlier stated: “The consumption of beverages containing alcohol is culturally very different across member States.    The same is true for drinking patterns, and subsequently alcohol-related harm.”  

On this basis, the CEPS said, tackling problems should also be done on local level with “relevant stakeholders”. 

The organisation said the EU's 2006 strategy objectives should be renewed for the period 2012-2020. These include supporting “effective advertising self-regulation”. 

Gavin Hewitt, president of the European Spirits Organisation – CEPS, said: “Trends show that the approach adopted in 2006 has proved successful and should be continued.”