The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s (FARE) Annual Alcohol Poll (the Poll) assesses Australians attitudes towards alcohol, alcohol consumption behaviours, awareness and experiences of alcohol harm, and perspectives on various alcohol policies. In 2017, the Poll was carried out by Galaxy Research for the eighth consecutive year.
The Poll continues to show that a vast majority of those surveyed are concerned about alcohol, with 78% of respondents indicating that they believe Australia has a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse, 74% believing that alcohol- related problems in Australia will worsen or remain the same over the next five to ten years, and 81% believing that more needs to be done to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. The proportion of people who believe more needs to be done to reduce the harm caused by alcohol has increased since 2016 (up from 78%).
Community perceptions of the alcohol industry are poor, suggesting the community is deeply sceptical about the industry’s motivations and business tactics. The majority of Australians continue to believe that the alcohol industry targets people under the age of 18 years (57%), that it has too much influence with governments (57%) and that it makes political donations to influence policy (55%). In addition, the majority (72%) of Australians believe that political parties should not be able to receive donations from the alcohol industry and that the alcohol industry should pay for reducing alcohol harm (74%).
There is further evidence of community cynicism towards the alcohol industry with less than half of Australians believing they could trust information provided by the alcohol industry on the number of standard drinks indicated on alcohol products (48%), responsible drinking (40%), drinking during pregnancy (27%), underage drinking (24%), and the health benefits of certain alcohol products (16%).