Alcohol Use Disorders (126) Which interventions are effective in alcohol control?

6 March, 2024

Dear colleagues,

I would like to introduce the WHO SAFER technical package.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with international partners, launched the SAFER initiative in 2018 alongside the United Nations third high-level meeting on prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

The objective of the initiative is to provide support for Member States in reducing the harmful use of alcohol by strengthening the ongoing implementation of the Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and other WHO and United Nations instruments – including WHO’s Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 3.5 (i.e. Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol).

The technical package for the SAFER initiative focuses on five key alcohol policy interventions that are based on accumulated evidence of their impact on population health and their cost-effectiveness.

The SAFER interventions are:

STRENGTHEN restrictions on alcohol availability

ADVANCE and enforce drink-driving countermeasures

FACILITATE access to screening, brief interventions and treatment

ENFORCE bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion

RAISE prices on alcohol through excise taxes and other pricing policies

This SAFER technical package is aimed at government officials with responsibility for developing policy and action plans to reduce the harm done by alcohol.

Given that alcohol-related harm extends beyond public health, and that preventing and reducing such harm requires multicomponent action that involves many stakeholders, this guidance should also be of use to those working in sectors other than health.

You can access to the WHO-SAFER technical package in :

Kind regards,


Dr. Eduardo Bianco

Director, Addiction Training Program (ATP)



HIFA profile: Eduardo Bianco is a medical doctor and Cardiologist, Certified Tobacco Cessation Expert with a Masters in Prevention and Treatment of Addictive Disorders. Currently, he is Chair of the World Heart Federation Tobacco Expert Group. Dr. Biancos research examines tobacco control and cessation, and he is a prominent member of several organizations that address tobacco control in Latin America. Dr. Bianco has worked for 25 years in Uruguay and Latin America to promote and train in smoking cessation treatment and tobacco control policies. He is also the former Regional Coordinator for the Americas of the Framework Convention Alliance and former Technical Director of the MOH Center for International Cooperation for Tobacco. ebianco AT