What is the alcohol industry doing to reduce alcohol damage?


The work of the alcohol industry to reduce the damage caused by alcohol is the focus of an event to be held at the Scottish Parliament tomorrow.

Alcohol industry leaders will be joined by a senior public health official and the chief executive of a charity committed to changing Scotland’s drinking culture to debate how the industry can tackle alcohol misuse in Scottish society.

The event is being held as part of the Scotland Futures Forum project entitled, ‘Fresh Perspectives on Alcohol and Drugs’.

Alcohol industry leaders speaking at the event include:

  • Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Gavin Hewitt CMG
  • Wine and Spirit Trade Association chief executive Jeremy Beadles
  • Benet Slay, Managing Director of Diageo GB.

Also speaking will be:

  • Mark Baird, Programme Director of the Scottish Government / Alcohol Industry Partnership
  • Robert Madelin, Director-General for Health and Consumer Protection at the European Commission
  • Jack Law, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland – a national charity committed to improving the quality of people’s lives by changing Scotland’s drinking culture.

The event will be chaired by Sunday Times columnist and feature writer Gillian Bowditch.

Scottish Futures Forum Director Robert Rae said: “As part of the Forum’s project into drugs and alcohol misuse, it is important that the alcohol industry and public health professionals have a chance to debate what more can be done to reduce damage caused by alcohol and what steps the industry is already taking.”

Background information on the ‘Fresh Perspectives on Alcohol and Drugs’ project

Holyrood's think-tank, Scotland's Futures Forum, is carrying out an innovative study into alcohol and drugs use in Scotland. The aim of the project is to look at the following question: “How can Scotland reduce the damage to its population through alcohol and drugs by half by the year 2025?”

The Forum seeks to stimulate open and honest debate on the causes and impacts of drug and alcohol misuse across Scottish society. The study will consider the views of local communities, a wide range of harm reduction measures, the role of poverty, and review international best practice. The project aims to inform public policy debate and challenge policy makers to consider new long-term approaches to problematic alcohol and drug use.

Background information on Scotland’s Futures Forum

Scotland’s Futures Forum was created by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body in August 2005. The forum aims to identify key challenges facing the nation and stimulate debate between MSPs, academics, civic society, wealth creators and international organisations on the ways of meeting them.

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