Professor Thomas Babor Sri L 2006[1]
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Professor Thomas Babor: Effective and Evidence-base Interventions to reduce Alcohol-related Harm

A video presentation of the WHO sponsored report “Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity” by Professor Thomas Babor can be studied here.

At a FORUT conference in Malawi 10th of November 2008 Professor Thomas Babor held a comprehensive presentation of Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity. He focused in particular on the best practises for prevention of alcohol-related harm.

As Professor Babor was not able to be present at a second national alcohol policy conference in Malawi two days later, on the 12th of November, he produced a video version of his presentation. This version, lasting approximately 22 minutes, can be studied here at the web site of the University of Connecticut in the USA.

Professor Babor starts his presentation by introducing the methodology used by the international group of alcohol researchers who produced the WHO sponsored study. – We organized our review of the evidence-based literature around 32 policy-relevant strategies and interventions that have been across the world in order to reduce alcohol-related problems, says the Professor.

After having reviewed hundreds of studies and reports from all over the world, the researchers summarized the evidence into four categories:

  1. Evidence of Effectiveness;
  2. Breadth of Research Support;
  3. Tested Across Cultures;
  4. Cost to Implement and Sustain

This exercise resulted in a list of what the researchers call best practises for alcohol policies, i.e. measures that are most likely to contribute effectively towards reducing alcohol-related harm, taking societal costs into account:

  • Minimum legal purchase age
  • Government monopoly of retail sales
  • Restrictions on days and hours of sale
  • Outlet density restrictions
  • Alcohol taxes
  • Random Breath Testing
  • Lowered BAC (blood alcohol concentration) limits
  • Administrative license suspension
  • Graduated licensing for novice drivers
  • Brief interventions for hazardous drinkers In the video presentation

Professor Thomas Babor introduces the evidence behind these best practises. A pdf version of the summary of Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity can be downloaded here.