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  • Lauri Beekmann

Blue Cross Norway: Reduced alcohol consumption has a significant impact on public health

03.04.2023 - Alcohol consumption causes both health damage and social problems, making it one of the main reasons why the population has a shorter life expectancy. Blue Cross is pleased that the government is proposing to continue its efforts in the national alcohol strategy in the new public health report, says Secretary General Trine Stensen. Among the most important measures to prevent alcohol-related harm are the Wine Monopoly, age limits, advertising bans, alcohol pricing, and early efforts with information and attitude work among children and young people.

Label alcoholic beverages

It is promising that the Ministry of Health and Care Services will consider proposals from the Directorate of Health and the World Health Organization to introduce warning labels on alcoholic beverages. This is a measure that Blue Cross has suggested to the government, and something we have great confidence in because knowledge about the health damage caused by alcohol is crucial. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can cause health damage. People with substance abuse problems live, on average, 15-20 years shorter than the rest of the population.

Alcohol consumption can have significant consequences for people other than the drinker. Safety, health, and quality of life are affected. "We are pleased that the government particularly wants to strengthen efforts against alcohol consumption that affects children and young people. It is essential to increase knowledge among the population about this as well.

Gambling addiction challenges public health

Problems with gambling affect mental health and quality of life. Gambling problems also have consequences for the people around the gambler. "It's great that the government wants to continue the monopoly model and seeks to acquire knowledge about social differences related to gambling problems. We are satisfied that gambling issues are included in the public health report and highlighted as one of the lifestyle habits that have consequences for public health.

Prioritize children and young people

The government proposes measures aimed at the entire population to level out social health differences. Blue Cross emphasizes the particular need for measures for children and young people. A safe upbringing and early intervention have a positive effect on leveling out health inequalities.

"It is essential to keep the differences in society as small as possible to prevent polarization and exclusion. We must work to maintain trust between people and between people and authorities. We must strengthen vulnerable groups by promoting living conditions," concludes Stensen.

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