The World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted a resolution to conduct further scientific studies on ways to reduce alcohol-related harm. The resolution was announced on May 25 during WHO’s annual 10-day assembly. In a Reuters interview, Catherine Le Gales-Camus, WHO assistant director-general for noncommunicable diseases and mental health, stated “Alcohol is now a global problem. Member states are more and more concerned by the use of alcohol among the younger part of the population. New patterns of consumption, binge drinking, are major issues.” A report to the assembly said that alcohol consumption causes at least 1.8 million deaths a year worldwide, including suicides and road accidents blamed on drinking, or 4 percent of deaths and disease. Tobacco causes 4.1 percent of deaths and disease and high blood pressure, 4.4 percent. International experts have found that the most effective measures to reduce alcohol-related problems include a minimum legal age for buying alcohol, government monopoly of retail sales, limited hours for sales, high taxes, and sobriety checks. See http://fullcoverage.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050525/hl_nm/alcohol_study_dc for the Reuters article.