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18/09/2006

Binge Drinking Focus of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific Meeting

18-22 September, Auckland, New Zealand. Concerned by the growing public health problems associated with the harmful consumption of alcohol and the increasing trend in hazardous drinking, the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific has drawn up a strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm in that region.

The strategy focuses on reducing the harmful use of alcohol by regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages, ensuring adequate public information is available about the damaging consequences of excessive alcohol use and implementing health promotion programmes as well as by providing support to civic and nongovernmental organizations to help them respond effectively to the problem. The strategy provides guidelines for action based on the specific needs and situations in Member States in the Region.

The Regional Committee noted that the onset of drinking at earlier ages as well as binge or problem drinking among young people are of particular concern.

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