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SOURCE Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
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 policies.
"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 complaint process.
Other highlights from the study:
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.
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