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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Editorials - International regulation of alcohol
BMJ 2008;337:a2364

A framework convention is needed, as for tobacco control

The World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health has just issued its main report,1 which lays out an ambitious programme of actions to tackle health inequity. The commission notes the substantial contribution of alcohol to injury, disease, and death worldwide,2 and it proposes that WHO and member nations should use the 2005 framework convention on tobacco control as a model for alcohol control. We agree that it is time to adopt such a framework. The commission’s work underscores the urgent need for international agreements that promote alcohol controls throughout the developing and developed world. Increasing affluence in the fastest developing regions of the world—East Asia, the Pacific region, and South Asia—has led to increased alcohol consumption, along with a higher burden of harm caused by alcohol. These increases foreshadow future trends in consumption and harm for other developing countries—such as those in Africa, Central America, and South America
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