Alcohol Use Disorders (70) What is the role of the alcohol industry? (4) WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030

19 February, 2024

WHO has a Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030, which is available here in pre-print (I cannot find a final version, can anyone help?)

The Plan has six objectives:

1. Increase population coverage, implementation and enforcement of high-impact policy options and interventions to reduce the harmful use of alcohol worldwide for better health and well-being, taking into account gender perspective and a life-course approach.

2. Strengthen multisectoral action through effective governance, enhanced political commitment, leadership, dialogue and coordination of multisectoral action.

3. Enhance the prevention and treatment capacity of health and social care systems for disorders due to alcohol use and associated health conditions as an integral part of universal health coverage and aligned with the 2030 Agenda and its health targets.

4. Raise awareness of the risks and harms associated with alcohol consumption and its impact on the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and nations, as well as of the effectiveness of different policy options for reducing consumption and related harm.

5. Strengthen information systems and research for monitoring alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harm, their determinants and modifying factors, and policy responses at all levels, with dissemination and application of information for advocacy in order to inform policy and intervention development and evaluation.

6. Significantly increase the mobilization of resources required for appropriate and sustained action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol at all levels.

I tried to find out what the Action Plan says in terms of addressing misinformation by the alcohol industry, but all I could find was this:

'The continuing global dialogue with economic operators in alcohol production and trade should focus on industry’s contribution to reducing the harmful use of alcohol in their roles as developers, producers and distributors/sellers of alcoholic beverages. This dialogue should also aim for the implementation of comprehensive restrictions or bans on traditional, online or digital marketing (including sponsorship), as well as on the role of economic operators in the regulation of sales, e-commerce, delivery, product formulation and labelling and on providing data on production and sales. The dialogue should engage, as appropriate, economic operators in other sectors of the economy that are directly involved in the distribution, sales and marketing of alcoholic beverages.'

Shouldn't this read: 'should focus on addressing industry's contribution to *increasing* the harmful use of alcohol in their roles as developers, producers and distributors/sellers of alcoholic beverages'?

I look forward to any comments from those who have been involved in the development of the Plan, as well as any who have had the chance to read it.

The plan does seem to have been developed using a robust and participatory approach. Would anyone like to comment on its strengths and weaknesses?

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: