World Health Organization calls for restrictions on alcohol

The World Health Organization estimates that about 237 million men and 46 million women around the world drink to excess.

The World Health Organization on Friday called on countries to restrict alcohol consumption through taxes, bans on advertising, and limiting where it is sold, following its latest finding that alcohol is linked with more than 3 million deaths a year.

The organization’s latest to action on booze is coming at a time where experts are reassessing the extent to which alcohol is a risk factor for cancer, after years of moderate drinking being framed as beneficial for people’s heart health. Critics of implementing restrictions are concerned that a war on alcohol could actually make the problem worse, while creating disadvantages for casual drinkers and businesses.

In its latest report, WHO counted alcohol-associated deaths not only as alcohol poisoning or those caused by injuries, such as drunken driving or violence, but also deaths associated with long-term, chronic drinking, such as liver cirrhosis, heart disease, and cancer.

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