Uruguay: Drafting Alcohol Regulation
The government in Uruguay is drafting a bill to better regulate alcohol. The alcohol industry is set to be subjected to new retail and marketing restrictions. Uruguay’s President Tabare Vazquez has announced his plans to present a “holistic law” to tackle the nation’s rising alcohol problems.
Alcohol harm in Uruguay
Average alcohol per capita consumption (APC) among women and men in Uruguay is still over 4 and 11 liters, respectively. That means the rate of heavy episodic alcohol use is more than double the global average.While there is no healthy amount of alcohol use, binge alcohol intake is particularly problematic for its associated health risk. The levels of heavy episodic alcohol use in Uruguay is troubling, especially for males. In Europe, the heaviest alcohol consuming region in the world, 20% of the adult population are engaging in binge alcohol use. Uruguayan men consume alcohol at that level.
That rate even increase among young males in Uruguay, where a staggering 43.5% are engaging in heavy episodic alcohol intake.
Implementing the three best buys
In a news conference this week Vazquez discussed the urgency of tackling Uruguay’s growing alcohol problems through employing three best buy measures that regulate marketing and retail of alcohol.
The President announced he was considering instituting changes to alcohol taxation, similar to the tobacco taxes he initiated. Vazquez also announced a possible liquor license scheme to better regulate alcohol outlet density and decrease availability.