International control of alcohol: alternative paths forward Academic Article uri icon


  • Alcohol was the first psychoactive substance to be subject to international control, but these agreements between colonial powers have long since fallen away. In the wake of the entry into force of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), paths forward for international control of alcohol are considered. The choices embedded in the FCTC are discussed, and the justifications for a parallel convention for alcohol considered. An alternative would be scheduling alcohol under one or more of the international drug conventions, most probably the 1971 convention, although the convention would have to be amended to allow use outside 'medical and scientific purposes' and without a prescription regime. In considering potential contents of an alcohol convention, it is noted that both the FCTC and the drug conventions are concerned at least as much with domestic markets as with international trade.

publication date

  • November 1, 2006