2018 Annual alcohol poll: Attitudes and behaviours



The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to stop the harm caused by alcohol has released its 2018 Annual alcohol poll: Attitudes and behaviours .

Since 2010, the Poll has examined Australians’ attitudes towards alcohol, their consumption behaviours, awareness and experiences of alcohol harm, and perspectives on alcohol policies. Nine years on, the Poll continues to show that Australians are concerned about alcohol’s impact and want governments to do something about it.

The Poll found:

  • Australians are concerned about alcohol with most Australians (73%) indicating that Australia has a problem with alcohol and that alcohol-related problems will remain the same or get worse in the next five to ten years (71%)
  • Perceptions of the alcohol industry continue to be poor, reflecting ongoing public scepticism of the actions and intentions of vested interests. More than half of Australians (55%) believe the alcohol industry targets young people under 18, and a majority (68%) believe industry should pay for reducing alcohol harm.
  • 61% of Australians believe the alcohol industry would downplay independent university research linking alcohol to a range of harm.
  • 82% of Australians drink alcohol, with bottled wine (29%) and regular strength beer (22%) remaining the preferred choice of drink.
  • Despite 71% of drinkers being comfortable with how much they drink, almost half (45%) or about 5.7 million Australians, report drinking alcohol to get drunk.
  • 30% of Australian drinkers have used an alcohol delivery service, with 92% having used such services in the past 12 months. As an emerging market, these findings are concerning given the limited and inconsistent regulation that currently applies in this area.
  • 37% of Australians have been affected by alcohol-related violence, including 21% who have been direct victims. Women are more likely than men to have been affected (41% compared to 34%) and to be direct victims of alcohol related violence (23% compared to 18%). On the other hand, men are more likely than women to have been a direct victim of alcohol-related violence in the last 12 months (27% compared to 20%). In addition, one in four (23%) parents or guardians with children under 18 report that their child has been harmed or put at risk of harm because of someone else’s drinking.
  • While Australians readily associate alcohol harm with violence in our pubs, clubs and on our streets, there is much less knowledge of alcohol’s long-term harm. Only one in four Australians (28%) are aware of the content of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. Fewer than half of Australians perceive links between alcohol misuse and stroke (38%), mouth and throat cancer (26%) and breast cancer (16%).
  • Australians want to know more about these harms, with an overwhelming majority (84%) reporting that they have the right to know about alcohol’s long-term harm and 80% believing governments’ have a responsibility to educate Australians on this matter. This clearly demonstrates that Australia urgently needs a nation-wide public education campaign to highlight the harms associated with drinking.
  • This year’s Poll once again highlights strong support for a range of alcohol-related policies. Two thirds (67%) of Australians support a ban on alcohol advertising on television before 8:30pm, just over half of Australians (52%) believe that alcohol sponsorship should not be allowed at sporting events and 51% support limiting the number of alcohol outlets to reduce alcohol-related family violence.
  • 57% believe governments are not doing enough to address alcohol harm and 76% believe more needs to be done to reduce the harm.

The report, along with a series of short videos, is available at www.fare.org.au. There are also plenty of social media 'icons' on the website if you scroll to the bottom of the page.