The main purpose of the global strategy is to support and complement public health policies in Member States. ICAP sponsors believe that such policies must also weigh the rights and responsibilities of individuals against those of society as a whole. To be effective, they need to be pragmatic and realistic in terms of what they set out to achieve. They also need to reflect the specific needs of the community for which they are intended, and to take the cultural context into account.
At the individual level, policies are needed to:
- Safeguard wellbeing and health and offer protection from harm
- Increase understanding of harms and benefits
- Change behavior, encouraging positive and discouraging negative drinking patterns
- Improve the ability to make informed decisions
- Provide reasonable access to commodities
- Ensure personal freedom and choice without impinging upon the freedoms of others
At the societal level, alcohol policies are intended to:
- Change behavior by encouraging positive and discouraging negative drinking patterns
- Reduce the burden of harm from alcohol misuse
- Decrease cost to society
- Provide treatment and support services for those who are harming themselves or have been harmed by others’ abuse of alcohol
- Ensure public safety
- Create an informed society
ICAP sponsors believe that effective alcohol policies are based on three key elements:
- Drinking patterns and their outcomes as a sound scientific basis for policy development
- Targeted interventions that address specific “at-risk” populations, potentially harmful contexts, and drinking behaviors
- Partnerships that allow the inclusion of the public and private sectors, the community, civil society, and others all working toward a common goal
All three elements apply to each of the target areas for intervention outlined in the strategy.
The balance of this document comprises a toolkit to help industry members decide how best they can demonstrate their support for the objectives of the strategy, based on the ten target areas for national action. In many cases, there will be activities above and beyond those listed in the strategy that industry members will wish to support. These will vary between countries, depending on the local context. Similarly, some of the possible interventions listed in the strategy may not be considered to have a high priority everywhere in the world. Just as the strategy provides a menu of possible policy options for governments, it provides a menu of options for industry members. Industry members may choose to work individually or collectively. It is not essential for every industry member to do everything; it is more important to make clear decisions based on local needs, to choose a number of key interventions, and to demonstrate that they were implemented effectively, with appropriate evaluation.
This toolkit identifies some key ICAP materials that are available to help industry members address each of the areas identified in the strategy. It also provides examples of and links to other resources that are available. This is not intended to be comprehensive, nor to suggest that all of these tools represent recommended best practice. Individual industry members—whether companies, trade associations, or social aspects organizations—will wish to add their own tools, based on their own local needs and the materials that they have developed.
There are some core documents that industry members may wish to take into consideration when deciding what activities they are going to undertake in support of the strategy. These are:
Next - Section 5: Ten target areas for national action, as identified in the WHO strategy