RIVM: Prevention Agreement does not help enough to achieve alcohol targets

17 January 2024

The Dutch government wants fewer people to smoke, be overweight or drink too much alcohol. To achieve this, the National Prevention Agreement (NPA) was concluded in 2018 with targets for 2040. The RIVM calculated what the situation would be in 2040 regarding these preventive health targets with and without this agreement.

This calculation shows that, with the current progress of the NPA agreements, the impact on problematic alcohol use among adults and young people is expected to be minimal. The National Prevention Agreement is having basically no effect on the number of people who consume problematic amounts of alcohol. This group will still be stable at around 8 percent in 2040, with or without the agreement. The goal was to reduce that to 5 percent. The percentage of young people who drank in the past month will also be less than one percentage point lower in 2040 than in the reference scenario.

The qualitative assessment shows that the ambition for pregnant women can possibly be achieved. It is unclear whether this can be attributed to the agreements in the NPA.

To get closer to the ambitions, existing agreements could first be better implemented, intensified and/or better enforced. For example, there are opportunities in making broader use of early detection of alcohol problems and further improving enforcement
of the age limit for alcohol sales.

The RIVM states that measures are also needed that go further than what has now been agreed in the NPA, at least if you want to achieve the ambitions of the NPA. For example, measures that are in line with the WHO's 'three best buys'. This involves increasing the price of alcoholic beverages (for example via a minimum unit price), reducing the availability of alcoholic beverages and limiting alcohol marketing.



Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
P.O. Box 9769
3506 GT Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30-6565041
F: +31 (0)30-6565043