Alcohol Control and Harm Reduction Policies in Lebanon
Alcohol is the world's third largest risk factor for disease and disability and a major contributor to more than 60 diseases. In Lebanon, alcohol use among youth is of particular concern. While local epidemiological data suggest that alcohol use among high school and university students is on the rise, the prevention of harmful alcohol use is not high on the national agenda. Lebanon's alcohol control policies are weak, outdated, and poorly enforced. Currently alcohol prices are low (with very low excise taxes) and illegal sales to minors are high. This research project aims to generate scientific evidence to inform the development, reform, and implementation of effective alcohol control policies in Lebanon. It will involve a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including content analysis of existing policy, a quantitative cross-sectional survey, and a discrete choice experiment. Findings will document the current national alcohol policy and identify the direct and indirect influences of policy-relevant factors and psychosocial mediators on alcohol consumption and purchasing. Researchers will also assess the potential impact of specific alcohol-control policy packages. The results should help to identify an optimum policy approach most likely to influence alcohol consumption behaviours among youth. Project findings will be publicly shared, with the aim of spurring national dialogue and momentum toward policy reform.