Tackling Scotland's Alcohol Problem
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SHAAP response to NHS Scotland document proforma consultation

18th July 2016

SHAAP has submitted a response to NHS Scotland's proforma consultation on the following documents:

In our response, we comment on the above draft documents. We welcome the draft documents and make suggestions to further strengthen them, including a recommendation for stronger emphasis on joined-up services and greater recognition of understanding the links between alcohol and offending.

Call for proposals to present at 2016/17 SHAAP/SARN 'Alcohol Occasional' Seminars

7th July 2016

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) are pleased to announce our programme for the lunchtime 'Alcohol Occasional' seminars. These showcase innovative research on alcohol use and provide the chance for researchers, practitioners and policy makers and members of the public to hear and discuss alcohol related topics, over lunch in the historic Royal College of Physicians in Queen Street, Edinburgh.

The theme for the forthcoming seminar series, from October 2016, is ‘Alcohol and Health Inequalities’. We’re particularly interested in presentations which provide insights and can stimulate discussion about alcohol and health inequalities in different contexts, drawing on a range of disciplines and opening up debate about implications for policy and practice.

Following the seminars, SHAAP will produce briefing papers, which will aim to capture the main themes and to communicate these to a wider audience. You can access reports from previous seminars here.

The 2016-2017 seminars will take place from 12.30–14.00 on the following dates:
13th October 2016 • 6th December 2016 • 24th January 2017 • 13th March 2017 • 11th May 2017 • 14th June 2017. If you are interested in presenting your work, please email Eric Carlin, SHAAP Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 22nd August 2016 with a proposal of no more than 300 words.

SHAAP response to SG Police Powers to Search Children and Young People for Alcohol consultation

7th July 2016

SHAAP has submitted a response to the Scottish Government's consultation on Police Powers to Search Children and Young People for Alcohol,

On this occasion, we have chosen not to support the proposals outlined in the consultation. Our response expresses concern about the effectiveness of the approach for the prevention of underage drinking and raises concerns about further stigmatisation of children and young people. Instead, we call for a broader approach to tackle the price, avaialbilty and marketing of alcohol.

New research supporting MUP

7th July 2016

As the MUP court case continues in Scotland this week (7th and 8th July), new research by Dr Arianna Andreangeli from University of Edinburgh Law School emphasises both the moral and legal validity of MUP as a public health measure. The research draws on the experience of a number of Canadian provinces and shows that minimum unit pricing may well be the most effective tool to address the health-related and social ills arising from alcohol consumption.

A press release issued to accompany the research can be found here.

Public Health must prevail over Big Business - Open letter in support of MUP

6th July 2016

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS), the British Medical Association (BMA), and Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD), along with other a range of other public health and charity leaders have signed an open letter in support of minimum unit pricing, ahead of the continuation of the court case in Edinburgh this week.

The letter reaffirms the necessity for public health to prevail over the interests of big business and the effectiveness of MUP as a measure to reduce access to and harms caused by cheap high strength alcohol in Scotland.

Minimum pricing will bring Scotland many benefits – it will help to reduce health inequalities, it will cut alcohol-related hospital admissions and crime and it will save hundreds of lives. We hope that this week the health of the people of Scotland will come before the profits of big business.

 

Support MUP. Sign our declaration.

 

#MUPsaveslives.

Scholin Alcohol Occasional online

6th June 2016

Lisa Scholin, Research Assistant at the Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling and PhD student at Liverpool John Moores University spoke at SHAAP/SARN's 2015/16 Alcohol Occasional seminar series about alcohol in pregnancy. In her presentation, Scholin outlined the main themes around alcohol in pregnancy and the  associated risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy. She then outlined findings from her PhD research which examined advice about alcohol given to women, parents and midwives in England and Sweden. There were significant differences between the two countries with pregnant women in England more likely to consume alcohol during pregnancy and believe this was okay. Scholin concluded that risk is culturally framed and this influences the advice given to women in both countries and how it is perceived - a summary of her presentation's key points can be found here.

SHAAP response to Northern Ireland drink driving consultation

24th May 2016

SHAAP has submitted a response to Northern Ireland's Department for the Environment consultation on regulations to introduce measures to tackle drink driving. We also submitted an extended response.

In our response we supported the proposal to reduce the drink driving threshold in Northern Ireland to 50mg/100ml and outlined key evidence from Scotland.

Research and Policy Briefing No.10 May 2016 now out

28th April 2016

Research and Policy Briefing No.10 now out. Highlights include:

  • MESAS Final Annual Report
  • New CMO drinking guidelines
  • MUP update
  • Evaluating the Public Health Responsibility Deal
  • Scotland leading the way in alcohol policy - Four Nations report

Next Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) Meeting - 12th May

14th April 2016

The next Scottish Alcohol Research Network (SARN) meeting will be held on Thursday 12th May 2016 at University of Dundee in the Dalhousie building. The draft agenda can be accessed here.

If you would like to attend this meeting, please confirm your attendance to either Andrew Symon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Vic Troy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Monday 2nd May.

Please note, parking at the University can be diffcult, so if you require a parking permit, please let Andrew Symon know as soon as possible.

Skar Alcohol Occasional online

14th April 2016

Mariann Skar, Secretary General of Eurocare (The European Alcohol Policy Alliance), spoke at SHAAP's 2015/16 Alcohol Occasional seminar series about alcohol labelling in Europe. In her talk, Skar provided a brief overview of Eurocare and outlined some of the challenges facing the alcohol policy community in Europe with regards to product labelling. Across Europe, there are high levels of public support for nutritional information on product labels and the current legislative environment offers an opportunity to disseminate health information to consumers. Going forward, there remains important questions about how consumers respond to health labelling and crucially, how public health advocates counteract the effects of high levels of spending on advertising by the alcohol industry - a summary of her presentation's key points can be found here.

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