TORONTO, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health (CAMH) has released a national report scoring each province on
their alcohol policies. Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia
received the highest scores, while Quebec, Prince Edward Island and
Newfoundland received the lowest.
Alcohol is one of the leading causes of disease and disability in Canada
and around the world. According to Health Canada, 4 to 5 million
Canadians engage in high-risk drinking which can be responsible for
significant health and social costs.
The report, titled "Strategies to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harms and Costs
in Canada: A Comparison of Provincial Policies," looked at 10 policies
that can impact alcohol use or its societal costs. Each province was
scored on the degree to which they have implemented precautionary
"Alcohol use is associated with injuries, chronic disease, cancer, and
physical and sexual violence, and globally ranks third after high blood
pressure and tobacco as a contributor to disease and disability," said
Dr. Norman Giesbrecht, Senior Scientist at CAMH. "It's a public health
issue, and in order to reduce its harms, a combination of
evidence-based policies and prevention strategies is required. By
collecting data from each province on their alcohol policies in areas
like pricing, availability, advertising, and drinking and driving
counter-measures, we can see how each province can improve."
Ontario scored highly on controlling the availability of alcohol, on
strategies to deter drinking and driving and policies that regulate
alcohol advertising and marketing practices, which were areas other
provinces needed to improve upon.
Ontario also received high scores for adjusting alcohol prices based on
alcohol content, for its restriction of certain types of ads and for
having a clearly identified advertising enforcement authority and
Other highlights from the study:
New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador were the only provinces to
place limitations on the quantity of alcohol advertisements.
Over 60 per cent of alcohol retailers in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. are
government owned, resulting in high scores for their control system.
All provinces scored well with legal drinking age by having legislation
in place that prohibits the sale and purchase of alcohol to a minor and
having enforcement of the minimum legal drinking age in all types of
alcohol outlets (liquor stores, bars, restaurants, etc).
British Columbia and Ontario received top scores for identifying
physician screening for problem alcohol use as a priority area while
other provinces had little to no activity in this area.
British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and P.E.I have
province-wide, mandatory server training programs for staff at all
public establishments. Ontario and Manitoba increased their score by
also requiring staff at licensed events to be trained in responsible
Alberta and Nova Scotia had high scores for their provincial alcohol
strategies, being the only provinces to create alcohol-focused
Researchers hope that these findings will cause policymakers to take
another look at their alcohol policies and make significant changes.
This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and
included data from the Provincial Liquor Boards and Mothers Against
Drunk Driving (MAAD) Canada.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest
mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the
world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical
care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to
help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and
addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with
the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health
Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For
more information, please visit www.camh.ca.
SOURCE: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
For further information:
Media contact: Michael Torres; (416) 595-6015; email@example.com.