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Friday, August 12, 2011

Global Actions Update

Global Actions in Focus: Noncommercial Alcohol Summaries about noncommercial alcohol in our focus countries are nearing completion. Results of pilot studies conducted by teams of independent scientists will be posted to Here’s a glimpse of what the reports will show. In Belarus, local research teams interviewed residents of the Grodno region and found that noncommercial alcohol is most popular among the homeless, patients of substance abuse clinics, and rural residents, with affordability the main reason for its popularity. The main types of noncommercial alcohol consumed are samogon, counterfeit vodka, and medicinal preparations that contain alcohol and industrial alcohol. Preliminary findings in Botswana indicate that noncommercial alcohol is fairly widely available, and the traditional practice of informal home-based taverns (shebeens) producing and selling noncommercial alcohol is widespread. The results of interviews and focus group discussions in the urban location of Nkoyaphiri and the rural location of Mogobane found that the production and sale of noncommercial beverages is viewed by residents as a wholesome, socially acceptable activity. A number of households have traditionally relied on noncommercial alcohol production for their livelihood. The Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil estimates that 99.5% of Brazilian stills are clandestine. A large percentage of Brazil’s 30 to 40 thousand stills are producing cachaca rum, the distilled beverage most consumed by Brazilians. Of those surveyed in two municipalities in Brazil, 86% reported consuming homemade beverages, 81% distilled drinks, and 77% counterfeit beverages. In China’s Hubei Province, among those who say they consume noncommercial alcohol, researchers found a general consensus that noncommercial alcohol products are safe, and many of the informants believed the beverages to be “more pure” than commercial products. Results of villager one-on-one and small group interviews found that, with respect to drinking time, 22% reported consuming noncommercial alcohol with breakfast, 80% with lunch, and 99% with dinner. In Sri Lanka, noncommercial alcohol is produced in hard-to-reach places (forests, marshy lands) at a low cost. Studies conducted in Colombo (slums and semi-urban areas) and Puttalam (rural and deep rural areas) found that the majority of producers lack the education to find other employment or income sources with ease, with wives sometimes involved in selling the products produced by their husbands. In these households, some women choose this job as their main source of income. Other countries of focus, to be covered in future issues of Global Actions, are India, Kenya, Mexico, and Russia. In addition to the pilot studies, ICAP is initiating conversations with stakeholders in Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania regarding the launch of research projects in noncommercial alcohol. What’s Happening Next: · A training workshop on best practices in Self-Regulation will be held August 18 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. · In Da Nang, Vietnam, a Drink Drive Enhanced Enforcement workshop is scheduled for August 16-18, and will combine education and enforcement. · A Drink Drive launch event is scheduled for September 13-14 in Mexico City, Mexico. · In Argentina, self-regulatory organizations in Latin America will meet for a Conselho Nacional de Auto-Regulamentac√£o Publicit√°ria (CONAR) CONARED conference on September 14-17. · World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) will be participating in a self-regulation conference to take place September 30 in Kiev, Ukraine.