ABC.net.au/news By Selina Ross
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the rate of alcohol-induced deaths was at its highest in 10 years in 2021, with 1,559 deaths.
The ABS said the rate increase over the last decade was “largely due to conditions associated with long term alcohol use including liver cirrhosis”.
Caterina Giorgi, the CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), said alcohol marketing was being targeted at people who were most at risk.
“By its very nature, people who purchase more alcohol will be targeted more,” she said.
“People who’ve made the decision to not drink alcohol and people who are particularly vulnerable are getting messages that just keep pushing alcohol on them.
“And that’s really concerning because alcohol is a drug that causes so much harm, one in 10 Australians meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder.”
Ms Giorgi described telemarketing as a “dark approach” to advertising because no one other than the individual recipient could see what was being marketed.
Ms Giorgi said the government needed to act and introduce stricter regulations.
“The truth is that regulations haven’t kept pace with the movement by alcohol companies and the alcohol industry to just really relentlessly market their products at people,” she said.
“We don’t have the right checks and balances around this, it’s really hard to regulate what we can’t see so we really need urgent action by government to get on top of this to stop these addictive products being pushed on people in their private environment.”