Society for the Study of Addiction  |  February 18, 2013

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We put forward our paper recognizing that a critical legal analysis of the many proposals to date for a framework convention on alcohol control might not be well received by the alcohol control community. We are encouraged that our paper has inspired such vigorous debate, with two of the responses supporting our argument.

Like Zeigler, we see the glass as being more than half full. There is urgency and opportunity for international regulatory action that has tangible impact. As Rekve notes, the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol is an essential guiding document. However, it is not specific in establishing norms, responsibilities or associated implementation and monitoring processes. Strengthened action is essential. There is a clear need for the articulation of concrete standards through a process of international negotiation, extending beyond the health constituency, that places limits on the most egregious industry behavior. We found Zeigler’s elaboration of steps forward, including the call for a ‘dynamic process of strategic planning’, to be highly valuable.

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