The World Health Organization [WHO] is the medical arm of the United Nations. You can read more of what they do here.
Essentially, there are countries around the world uniting their medical leaders and innovators in the cause of advancing and protecting health.
In this new globally-connected, information-driven age, it stands to reason that certain issues would become global health problems – stuff that affects billions of people in many countries. Alcohol is one such issue.
Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director General of the WHO, made this speech in Turkey, talking about how alcohol creates a tremendous world-wide burden for health. Essentially, she is calling for countries to create stronger policies (‘rules’) for alcohol use. Some possible measures include:
• Raising prices
• Raising taxes
• Having fewer outlets
• Reductions in availability in terms of service hours
What would happen if our government(s) followed these suggestions by raising alcohol taxes and base prices? What if they told bars and beer stores to close earlier? What if they closed down several LCBO outlets, and prevented others from opening? Would these ideas be popular? What would be the media reaction?