Online Program

Advocacy for reducing the role of the global alcohol industry in health education

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

David H. Jernigan, PhD, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Alcohol is the third leading global cause of death and disability. The World Health Assembly recently approved a Global Strategy for Reducing Alcohol-Related Harm, which has led to new initiatives throughout the world to adopt more effective policies and practices to reduce excessive drinking. Because close to half or more of alcohol consumption in many countries is excessive consumption, the alcohol industry has a substantial conflict of interest with public health measures to reduce that consumption. To avoid this conflict, the Global Strategy explicitly confines the industry's role to implementation rather than planning of the Strategy. This presentation will document how the alcohol industry has sought to go beyond its prescribed role in the strategy, focusing on specific techniques the industry has used to educate the public and policy makers. These include coopting the strategy and claiming credit for industry actions that are ineffective; conducting and promoting flawed research on alcohol in low- and middle-income countries; and convincing health leaders and professionals to adopt ineffective national strategies. Public health responses to this have included the development of global and regional advocacy coalitions, a global petition campaign against industry conflicts of interest, and the development and dissemination of tools and trainings to equip health educators, policy makers and the public with guidance on implementing best and evidence-based practices.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe at least 3 specific strategies the alcohol industry uses to provide information and education on alcohol to the public and to consumers. Identify 2 key findings from the scientific literature on the impact of alcohol-industry sponsored messages of alcohol-related behavior and attitudes. Identify 3 specific ways that the alcohol industry seeks to influence health education professionals and professional organizations. Identify 2 strategies used by health educators and professional organizations to counter the industry's influence.

Keyword(s): Alcohol, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a leading researcher on alcohol marketing and the alcohol industry. I direct the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and I have published more than 20 articles on alcohol and alcohol marketing.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.