Professor Simon Chapman fails to keep up with developments

The University of Sydney, Professor Simon Chapman’s seat have, and I have to fair an unmoderated blog when you can debate plain packaging. Catching up with events I noticed this exchange.

  • Nat CB

    Simon, do you think similar initiatives should be applied to alcohol – ie. no pretty packaging on girly drinks like bacardi breezers and vodka cruisers, banning of advertising that makes drinking seem cool – beer ads seem to be getting bigger and cleverer every year.

  • Simon_Chapman

    There are some important parallels with alcohol, but many differences. I know of non-one in public health who wants a total ban on alcohol advertising for example — mainly because most alcohol users do not harm themselves nor others. Control mechanisms should be proportional to the damage caused and the goals. .. gvt policy is to get as close to zero tobacco use as possible. Not so for alchol (sic).”

  • Professor Chapman adds

What discussions that there are about alcohol are about holding the companies to the rules of their own voluntary codes — their own self-regulation is a joke – and breaking the nexus with sport. You are not allowed to directly advertise booze in children’s viewing hours, unless you are doing it via a spots broadcast — so that makes real sense …..”

So not ruled out then, mate.

Always one to share my information, especially as alcohol “users do not harm..others.” I have added the following comments:

Simon how many smokers have lit up 8 cigarettes and felt the need to start a fight. You say alcohol “users do not harm..others.” This article in The Australian makes for sober reading, entitled “Nights of drunken rages,” it goes on to say:

“ABUSE of alcohol and excess drinking is more than a bunch of percentages and statistics to Liverpool Hospital trauma surgeon John Crozier. The deputy chair of the trauma committee for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons sees the problem in death and broken bones, and in the faces of families whose lives have been changed in an instant.”

“Crozier says the emergency departments in every Australian hospital have people coming in each night, presenting with a range of injuries, from broken jaws after punch-ups, to broken bones that result from falls.”

“”Over five million Australians (41 per cent) have been affected by alcohol-related violence,” it says, noting men and women are equally likely to report being a victim of alcohol-related harm. “This includes 2.6 million who have been a victim of alcohol-related violence.”

I would stock up on the tinnies, before it is too late.


In the UK we seem to be well ahead of the ball game. The Royal College of Physicians wrote in 2007 “The ‘passive effects’ of alcohol misuse are catastrophic – rape, sexual assault, domestic and other violence, drunk driving and street disorder – alcohol affects thousands more innocent victims than passive smoking.”

Click to access alcohol-health-alliance-key-messages.pdf

If you are a drinker get used to the denormalisation of your habit.

No passive drinking here Simon?

Also if you weigh a few extra lbs watch out you don’t make other people fat. Yes passive obesity as a phrase now exists. This article was written by Dennis Gottfried, M.D and entitled “Anti-Smoking Tactics Can Squeeze Obesity.”

“When people with whom we are closely associated gain weight, such as a spouse, sibling, neighbor or friend, we are also at an increased risk of gaining weight. For example, if your friend becomes obese, you have a 177 percent increased risk of becoming obese. If your friend’s brother becomes obese, your risk is still increased. The increased risk goes out to four degrees of separation.”

And the best one.

Don’t worry plain packaged alcohol is coming to the UK soon. In the UK you have until May 8th to put in a submission to the (UK’s) Government’s Alcohol Strategy “..the Health Committee is to hold an inquiry examining the Government’s proposals so far as they relate to health issues, and in particular will look at:

…..Plain packaging and marketing bans”








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1 Response to Professor Simon Chapman fails to keep up with developments

  1. Rose says:

    “There are some important parallels with alcohol, but many differences. I know of no-one in public health who wants a total ban on alcohol advertising for example — mainly because most alcohol users do not harm themselves nor others.”
    Oh really?

    Bearing in mind, of course that now, “Based on the evidence, “there is no level of alcohol consumption for which cancer risk is null”

    Guidelines For Alcohol Consumption Are Inadequate For Cancer Prevention – 12 Jul 2011

    “There is increasing evidence that links alcohol consumption to cancer. The WHO International Agency of Research on Cancer has stated, based on evidence, that alcohol is carcinogenic in both animals and humans. Several evaluations of this agency as well the joint 2007 report of the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research warned of the link between alcohol and cancers in the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon-rectum and breast cancers. Based on the evidence, “there is no level of alcohol consumption for which cancer risk is null.”

    “On the whole, alcohol is considered an avoidable risk factor for cancer incidence and, more generally, for the global burden of disease,” writes Dr. Paule Latino-Martel, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), with coauthors from the French Institute for Prevention and Health Education (INPES) and the French National Cancer Institute (INCa).”

    “Considering our current knowledge of the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer risk, national health authorities should be aware of the possible legal consequences of promoting drinking guidelines that allow consumers to believe that drinking at low or moderate levels is without risk.”

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