Is it acceptable to consume alcohol at scientific events?
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Public Health Unit of Amadora Portugal
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A830
In 2022, alcohol continues to dominate public health conference venues nationally and internationally and is indirectly promoted by the same public health experts fighting NCDs and alcohol-related diseases. This study aimed to determine whether and why scientists wish to keep alcohol in scientific events and potential alternatives to alcohol consumption.

Using keywords, a non-systematic narrative search was conducted in PubMed. Grey literature was also included.

A MINIMAL number of studies were found. According to a survey, 70% of scientists favour the continued presence of alcohol at scientific events. Alcohol consumption is believed to facilitate networking and break down barriers, and alcohol bans are thought to restrict drinkers choices. There may be a way to change this pattern by providing limited non-exchangeable drink tickets, providing more non-alcohol drinks, substituting food for alcohol, and going out for drinks afterwards.

Conference venues, scientific meetings, and university spaces are not alcohol-free zones. Alcohol availability can facilitate excessive behaviour, overconsumption, and peer pressure and undermine efforts to prevent alcohol epidemics. Considering that there is not much data available, more research must be done on this topic. In addition, peers must be made aware of its significance.

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