The role of research in the failure of the alcopops excise in Australia: what have we learned?
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We believe that a lack of adequate alcohol measures research is partly responsible for the failure of the Australian Government to pass legislation to equalise the excise applied to straight spirits and premixed spirits ("alcopops"). Current measures only assess total alcohol consumption rather than patterns of consumption, and do not adequately identify alcohol-related harm at a population level. Possible solutions include making further efforts to develop applied community-level measures and responding to the repeated calls for national collection and analysis of alcohol sales data. With the Australian Government able to retain the alcopops excise raised to date, there is a unique opportunity for greater collaboration between researchers and government to ensure high-quality and publicly relevant research is funded and conducted to address the current lack of adequate measures research. Measures research is a priority, as this is the basis for increasing the accuracy of data with which more cost-effective public policy and initiatives can be formulated and evaluated. The challenge is for researchers and the Australian Government to align their expertise to ensure revenue from MJA 2009; 191: 223-225 public taxes engenders measurable public health benefit.
Medical Journal of Australia
Shakeshaft A, Doran CM and Byrnes J. The role of research in the failure of the alcopops excise in Australia: what have we learned? Med J Aust 2009; 191 (4): 223-225. © Copyright 2009 The Medical Journal of Australia – reproduced with permission.
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