There is an urgent need for action to address harmful drinking patterns in Australia
- 94% of West Australian adults are concerned about alcohol use among young people and 98% are concerned about alcohol-related violence.
- Three quarters of Australians believe that Australia has a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse.
- The cost of alcohol-related harm in Australia, including harms caused by someone else's drinking, is estimated to be $36 billion a year.
- One in five Australians aged 14 years and above drink at a level that puts them at risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over their lifetime.
- One in three 14 to 19 year olds drink alcohol in a way that places them at risk of an alcohol-related injury from a single drinking occasion at least once a month.
- Many young people drink to get drunk; 45% of current drinks aged 16 to 17 years report intending to get drunk on most or every occasion when they drink alcohol.
- Alcohol is associated with violence, injury, crime and car crashes, and causes considerable harm to health.
- Longer term health problems associated with risky alcohol use include liver damage, heart damage, and increased risk of some cancers.,
- There is growing concern about the impact of alcohol on young peoples’ development. Heavy drinking at a young age can adversely affect brain development and is linked to alcohol-related problems in later life.
The alcohol industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year promoting its products
- Alcohol is one of the most heavily promoted products in the world.
- Alcohol companies in Australia spend an estimated $125 million a year on alcohol advertising on direct television, radio, outdoor, and print media alone.
- The total spend on promotion by the alcohol industry is likely to be much higher when other kinds of promotions, such as sponsorship of sport, music and arts events, online advertising, point-of-sale promotions, and advertising by liquor retailers are taken into account.
- New, interactive technologies have enabled alcohol marketers to promote their products through the internet, mobile phones and social media, as well as traditional media.
Exposure to alcohol advertising impacts young people
- Exposure to alcohol promotion impacts on the drinking behaviours and attitudes of young people.
- Research consistently shows strong associations between exposure to alcohol advertising and young people’s early initiation to alcohol use and/or increased alcohol consumption.,
- Exposure to alcohol advertising contributes to the normalisation of alcohol use and works to reinforce the harmful drinking culture that exists in Australia.
In Australia, alcohol advertising is subject only to a voluntary code administered by the alcohol and advertising industries. Advertising self-regulation is favoured by industry, yet self-regulation tends to be largely ineffective.,
We believe there are numerous deficiencies in the current system and how it’s implemented. To find out more about Australia's self-regulated alcohol advertising scheme, click here.
 Independent market research commissioned by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, November 2012. Available from: www.mcaay.org.au
 Laslett A-M, Catalano P, Chikritzhs Y, Dale C, Doran C, Ferris J, et al. The Range and Magnitude of Alcohol’s Harm to Others. Fitzroy, Victoria: AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Eastern Health; 2010.
 White V, Bariola E. Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011. Prepared for Drug Stategy Branch, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Melbourne: Centre for Bhavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria; 2012.
 Anderson P, de Bruijn A, Angus K, Gordon R, Hastings G. Impact of Alcohol Advertising and Media Exposure on Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies. Alcohol Alcohol. 2009; 44(3):229–243.
 Smith L, Foxcroft D. The effect of alcohol advertising, marketing and portrayal on drinking behaviour in young people: systematic review of prospective cohort studies. BMC Public Health. 2009; 9(51).
 Moodie R, Stuckler D, Monteiro C, Sheron N, Neal B, Thamarangsi T, et al. Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink industries. The Lancet. 2013; 381(9867):670-679.