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Harmful alcohol use is increasing in Americas

WHO Americas publishes alcohol and health report

The Regional Report on Alcohol and Health in the Americas examines the patterns and consequences of alcohol use in the Region; warns that harmful use of alcohol increased in the Americas over a five-year period and recommends measures to limit availability, restrict marketing, and raise prices of alcohol by increasing taxes.

PAHO Regional Report.pngThe report published by The World Health Organization Regional Office for the Americas / Pan American Health Organization is composed of three sections: 1) consumption of alcohol and resulting harm, comparing historical data from the Americas as well as current data within the Region and globally; 2) policies and interventions, focusing on a few of the ten target areas recommended by the Global Strategy; and 3) recommendations for policymakers in the Region. Wherever possible, this report attempts to explain gender differences in consumption and harm.

The report expands on the analyses published by WHO in the Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, so that policymakers, scientists, and the public can better understand where we are and what we need to do in order to reduce the harmful use of alcohol in the Region of the Americas.

The PAHO report describes levels of consumption of alcoholic beverages and the harms they cause in the Americas and presents recommendations on policies and interventions to reduce consumption, for use by policymakers. It points out that 10% of drinkers account for more than 40% of all alcohol consumed in the Americas, and the region has on average the second-highest per capita consumption of all WHO regions, after Europe. Recommended measures include increased taxes on alcohol; minimum age requirements for the purchase, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages; restrictions on where and when alcoholic beverages may be sold; and comprehensive regulation of alcohol marketing. However, no countries have fully adopted all these measures.