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NZ joins the global conversation on alcohol-related harm

New Zealand joins the global conversation on alcohol-related harm

The Global Alcohol Policy Conference has just started in Edinburgh, Scotland (7-9 October), with Professor Sally Casswell attending from New Zealand.

The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) is a network of
non-governmental organisations and people working in public health agencies who share information on alcohol issues, and advocate evidence-based alcohol policies.

It’s estimated between 600 and 800 people in New Zealand die each year from alcohol-related causes. A 2009 Berl study, applying a methodology endorsed by the World Health Organisation, estimated harmful alcohol use cost New Zealand $4.9 billion in 2005/06.

GAPA emerged from the inaugural conference held in New York in 2000, and has networks operating in Africa, European Union, South America, South East Asia, USA and Western Pacific regions.

Professor Sally Casswell says, “The conference will showcase positive advocacy, translational research and local action from around the world, as well as highlighting the difficulties the alcohol policy field faces, especially from the inappropriate influence of the alcohol industry.”

Professor Casswell will draw on data from the International Alcohol Control Study which is coordinated from New Zealand in order to challenge some of the industry messages about policy.

She says, “Being part of the global conversation gives us in New Zealand new insights into innovative activities taking place globally, so we can learn, as well as be enabled to make a contribution to the global response to the high levels of alcohol-related harm being experienced.”

Find out more about the conference here: http://www.gapc2015.com/

More information on Professor Sally Casswell: Sally Casswell is Professor of Social and Health Research and the Director of the SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, College of Health at Massey University.

Her research interests are in social and public health policy, particularly in alcohol and other drugs. She has carried out research on the development and implementation of public policy at the national and community level and in the evaluation of these initiatives.

Continues …
A focus for some years has been on commercial marketing of alcohol products. She is involved in international alcohol policy as a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence and Alcohol Problems and SHORE is a WHO Collaborating Centre.

Professor Casswell also has an active involvement with the NGO sector including GAPA (Global Alcohol Policy Alliance) as a Board member and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and the Kettil Bruun Society for Social Epidemiological Research, currently as President Elect.

ENDS

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