The members of the network – Brain League, Filha, Breathing Association, Finnish Medical Society Duodecim, Finnish Diabetes Association, Finnish Mental Health Society, Finnish Heart Association and Finnish Cancer Society – point out that the prepared presentation presents very high risks from the point of view of both public health and the national economy. A significant part of these risks can be read from the draft. The performance is also running counter to the development of international alcohol policy. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) and then the OECD, the OECD, have recommended a policy of reducing alcohol to their Member States.
Particularly harmful The network of non-communicable diseases sees stronger beers, ciders, and so on. to import limousines into grocery stores, kiosks and service stations. Their sales would be freed from the current approximately 350 Alko outlets to nearly 5,500 outlets, which means about 15 times the number of outlets. Strong expansion in sales would also lead to lower prices. For children and adolescents favored by limo, the change would be particularly high, as so far, more than 2.8% of sweet drinks are sold only in Alko.
The availability and price of alcohol have a direct impact on the consumption of alcohol and the harmful effects of alcohol. Alcohol consumption has often been in decline for years in Finland. In the background, there have been, above all, recurrent tax increases canceling the massive reduction in alcohol tax in 2004. As a result of the decrease in total consumption, alcohol harm has been significantly reduced – good development can be seen both in the number of drug-related deaths, in alcohol-related treatment periods, such as in violence statistics. And while there has been little change in drinking of young adults, alcohol consumption among minors has decreased. The bill threatens to reverse this positive trend.
Alcohol and tobacco together cause more than half of Finnish health inequalities. It has been calculated to be linked to about 200 diseases and health problems. The WHO classifies alcohol as the highest category of cancer, including alcohol, including asbestos and tobacco. For example, the risk of breast cancer is already increasing at the level of one daily dose. Along with cancer, alcohol increases the risks associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and mental health problems. In 2015, about 1,700 Finns died of alcohol abuse, and alcohol is also a factor behind many other causes of death. The reform of the alcohol law proposed by the Board of Directors would increase the total alcohol consumption in Finland by approximately six per cent. As a result, alcoholic deaths alone would increase by at least 100-150 per year. All in all, countless social problems caused by the use of alcohol are their own figures. They can also be calculated with a significant euro price, in addition to human suffering.
Alcohol costs the public billions of euros in direct and indirect costs. Consumption and harm-enhancing law reform would increase public spending and would also have a negative impact on the business sector, for which a significant proportion of the alcohol-related harm of the working-age population is falling. The network of non-communicable diseases calls on the government and, ultimately, Parliament to make responsible decisions in the reform of the Alcohol Act. The draft report on the opinion reveals that alcohol is likely to be the most significant single risk factor for health and well-being in Finland. It is difficult to see justification for the fact that the deregulation of the norms and the appeal of individual responsibility will take precedence over significant aspects of public health and national economy.