Working to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol Around the World

Posted: October 10, 2016
Working to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol Around the World

We have long been committed to promoting the safe enjoyment of alcohol around the world. As part of this effort, we recently launched several multi-year pilot programs that will explore collaborative and innovative approaches to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10% in six cities around the world by the end of 2020.

Pilot programs have already launched in Brasilia (Brazil), Zacatecas (Mexico), and Leuven (Belgium). We will then use best practices and learnings from these cities to develop local implementation plans for additional markets worldwide.

Pilot City: Zacatecas, Mexico

We launched our program in Zacatecas in 2015, in partnership with the National Commission for Addictions, which is part of the Health Ministry. As a first step, we completed a baseline study to assess the current situation with regard to harmful consumption of alcohol, both among adults and adolescents. The study highlighted three key areas for us to focus on: underage drinking; drinking and driving; and binge drinking. We have already held a number of events focused on these three areas, and we have several more in the works. For underage drinking, we are conducting mystery shopper trainings and hosting hackathons to help develop solutions; for drinking and driving and binge drinking, we are rolling out campaigns focused on alcohol education and changing social norms, including ad campaigns, theater plays, and brief interventions in schools.

Pilot City: Brasilia, Brazil

In August 2016, we partnered with the government of Brasilia in Brazil to launch our city pilot, called “Brasilia Vida Segura,” or “Brasilia Safe Life”. The program, which is focused on road safety as well as improving citizens' quality of life and health, kicked off with a meeting in September that brought together more than 300 people.

Pilot City: Leuven, Belgium

In September 2016, we launched our city pilot program in Leuven, Belgium, called Smart Drinking Leuven. With our 3 partners, the City of Leuven, the KU Leuven (university) and the UZ Leuven (academic hospital), we have committed to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, including such practices as binge drinking among students, underage drinking and drink driving, by 10% by 2020. We are conducting a baseline study during the autumn of 2016, which will determine the current status of harmful use in Leuven. This will help us to determine what the most pressing issues are and where we will focus our efforts.

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