Alcohol in the European Union
Consumption, Harm and Policy Approaches
This new report uses information gathered in 2011 to update key indicators on alcohol consumption, health outcomes and action to reduce harm across the European Union (EU). It gives an overview of the latest research on effective alcohol policies, and includes data from the EU, Norway and Switzerland on alcohol consumption, harm and policy approaches. The data were collected from a 2011 survey, carried out as part of a project of the European Commission and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The report updates the evidence base for some important areas of alcohol policy, and provides policy-makers and other stakeholders in reducing the harm done to health and society by excessive drinking with useful information to guide future action.
Alcohol is one of the world's top three priority areas in public health. Even though only half the global population drinks alcohol, it is the world's third leading cause of ill health and premature death, after low birth weight and unsafe sex. In Europe, alcohol is the third leading risk factor for disease and death after tobacco and high blood pressure.