Alcohol sales data are essential for good public policies towards alcohol

Wayne D Hall, Tanya N Chikritzhs, Peter H N d’Abbs and Robin G W Room
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01977.x
Published online: 18 August 2008

Australia should be improving, not abandoning, the collection of alcohol sales data

Australians pay a substantial price for the pleasure they derive from alcohol. According to the latest estimate, on a net basis, alcohol accounts for 2.2% of the total disease burden in Australia.1 This is marginally more than illicit drugs (2.0%),1 but alcohol’s toll would be even higher if the 3430 deaths of young adults caused by alcohol-related road crashes, accidents, assaults, suicide and other causes were not partially offset by 2345 deaths from heart disease counted (some would argue erroneously)2,3 as having been averted by moderate drinking in adults over the age of 65.1

  • 1 School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA.
  • 3 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD.
  • 4 School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 5 Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

Wayne Hall has received research project funding from the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (AERF). Peter d’Abbs is a Director of the AERF and receives reimbursement of costs to attend board meetings. Robin Room’s position is funded primarily by the Victorian Government Department of Human Services, and partly by the AERF. Neither organisation had any role in the writing or publication of this editorial.

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  • 10. Stockwell T, Donath S, Cooper-Stanbury M, et al. Under-reporting of alcohol consumption in household surveys: a comparison of quantity-frequency, graduated-frequency and recent recall. Addiction 2004; 99: 1024-1033.


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