Attitudes towards alcohol policy in Europe; results of the alcohol survey in 33 European countries
Background: There is substantial evidence that alcohol control policies may reduce alcohol consumption and harm associated with alcohol use. In contrast, in most European countries economic considerations in alcohol policies are still more important than public health interests. Often it is claimed that restrictive alcohol policies do not enjoy popular support. The aim of this presentations is to show level of support for alcohol policies across Europe.
Methods: The Standardized European Alcohol Survey (DEEP SEAS) survey was implemented in 33 countries in 2021. Major mode of administration was Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI). Quota samples were selected from panel respondents of KANTAR International. Over 56 thousand interviews were collected with about 1500 respondents in majority of countries. Section on attitudes towards alcohol policies consisted of 12 statements, including statements in support of alcohol control policies, in favour of laissez-faire approach and in favour of alcohol education. Overall frequencies, frequencies per country will be presented as well as results of factor analyses to discover attitudes underlying opinions expressed.
Results: There is almost unanimous consensus in support of alcohol education, over 80% supports random breath testing. However, against expectations, small but firm majority of Europeans support also alcohol control policies, including support for controlling both alcohol availability and affordability and ban on advertising. Only 30% would agree with a statement that alcohol is a product like any other and does not require any special restrictions.
Conclusions: As public support for alcohol policies prevails in majority of European countries, the governments should consider implementation of evidence based polices in in the interest of public health and safety.