"Government's resignation from alcohol is scandalous"

The national plan adopted in late 2018 reinforces the worst fears about the complacency, if not the complicity, of public authorities and the lobby of alcohol, deplore several doctors.

Posted today at 19h00

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Between Christmas and the New Year, after ten months of procrastination, the secret publication of the 2018-2022 National Addictions Action Plan reinforces the worst fears about the inertia of the public authorities in terms of alcohol consumption. Despite the 49,000 deaths per year and the cost of 120 billion euros per year inflicted by this product to the French and the French, the plan of the Interministerial Mission for the fight against drugs and addictive behaviors (Mildeca), after A brilliant and indisputable analysis stops abruptly on the threshold of action, thus losing all ambition to succeed. While the tobacco control policy shows that a steady and determined action gets results (historic decline in cigarette sales by 10% in 2018), the government's resignation from alcohol is unbearable and scandalous. This burden for French society is due to one of the highest consumption in the world.

The plan is full of contradictions. After recognizing, like the World Health Organization, that taxation is one of the most effective means of curbing consumption, he does not propose any measure to this end. Despite the Minister of Health's commitments during the debates in Parliament, wine-based premixes are even beyond measure. Wine now enjoys a quasi-tax exemption (3 cents per bottle), which leaves a huge margin that would have helped to fund an alcohol prevention fund. On the contrary, the plan preferred to squat the Tobacco Fund, thus diluting its capacity for action. The plan is alarmed at marketing to trick young people into drinking but is content with this concern. If he sees the advertising pressure for alcohol on all the media, he does not propose any measure of supervision, not even the limitation of the display around the schools. No calendar, no numerical target is set.

"Who, at the highest levels of the state, is working to defeat any effective measure to reduce the risk and harm of alcohol? "

Despite the solemn commitment made on 6 September 2017 by the Minister and the President of the Mildeca to make the "pregnant woman" warning pictogram more visible, the size of the pictogram is still not arbitrated; yet it is a simple decision and at zero cost for public finances.

It is true that the alcohol lobby considers that informing women would be " anxiety ", if not "Mortifying". What avowal and what cynicism! This disregard for the prevention of the first preventable cause of mental disability in children is shameful and unforgivable, that it may have influenced government choices is absolutely outrageous. Information on the number of calories of alcoholic beverages is also postponed to better times; yet a glass of wine brings 80 to 100 calories!