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September 12, 2013

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Health costs left out of liquor laws

Existing BC liquor regulations ignore the health and social costs of alcohol, and need to strike a balance with convenient access and revenue considerations, the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research (CARBC) says in its submission to the province’s Liquor Policy Review.

“We can and should be doing a much better job of monitoring our alcohol policies against health indicators, such as alcohol-related deaths and chronic diseases,” says Dr. Tim Stockwell, CARBC director, who made the submission Sept. 11. “The current laws address some public safety concerns, but overall BC liquor policy is focused almost entirely on revenue raising, with the liquor-related health costs simply left out of the picture. We’re advocating for a better balance.”

Modern laws for the control and sale of alcohol should incorporate clear objectives relating to all aspects of public interest, target high-risk products and drinking settings, ensure consumers are better-informed, and monitor effectiveness against health and economic indicators, he says.

CARBC hosts a public forum Tuesday, Sept. 17 in Vancouver to discuss how liquor laws might balance the relevant considerations. Andrew Murie, MADD Canada CEO, makes a submission to the review that day, and will be the forum’s keynote speaker.

What: “How can modern liquor laws be compatible with public health and safety?” panel and open forum with keynote speaker Andrew Murie, MADD Canada CEO; Tim Stockwell, CARBC director; Dan Reist, CARBC assistant director; Dr. John Carsley, Vancouver Coastal Health medical health officer; and Kara Thompson, UVic psychology doctoral student.
When: Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Room 1420, SFU Harbour Centre Tower (515 West Hastings St., Vancouver)

Presenters Stockwell, Murie, Reist and Thompson will also be available to media at 11 a.m. Sept. 17 at CARBC’s Vancouver offices (909-510 Burrard St.). More information and supporting research can be found at the CARBC website.

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  Media Contacts:

Dr. Tim Stockwell (CARBC) at 250-415-7376 or timstock@uvic.ca
Andrew Murie (MADD Canada) at 416-720-7642 or amurie@madd.ca
Mitch Wright (UVic Communications & Marketing) at 250-721-6139 or mwwright@uvic.ca

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UVic media releases & resources for journalists: http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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