Ethics of an unregulated alcohol market
2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 Society for the Study of Addictio
It is a complex world as far as the alcohol market is concerned.There are very regulated markets in most of the developed countries and an extremely unregulated market in the developing countries. In a regulated market population drinking patterns are stable, there is no significant growth in alcohol consumption and there is a tradition of alcohol policies focused on examining market characteristics and structure. In addition, a significant number of professionals and policy makers are involved in actions directed at controlling alcohol consumption and problems. On the other hand, unregulated markets
expand almost continuously, sometimes, as in Brazil, around 10% each year . Drinking patterns are changing all the time, and there are only a few isolated efforts from professionals or policy makers to understand the market’s structure. The ethical dilemmas experienced by researchers and professionals living under these two different types of markets are different. Adams’ paper  is both informative and up to date in what concerns the current relationship between researchers and the alcohol industry in regulated markets. Being part of an unregulated market, Brazil’s laws and enforcement are either lacking or feeble. Moreover, Brazil is a significant and promising target to the alcohol industry.Our population is young, virtually half the population abstains from alcohol (so there is room for growth) and alcohol is widely available—there are 1 million points of sale of alcohol in the country [1,3]. Additionally, there is a widespread cultural belief among Brazilians thatwe are a relaxed people, by temperament not very fond of rules or prohibitions. Even a basic alcohol policy such as the prohibition of sales to minors is not enforced. This lack of policy enforcement makes Brazil and other countries with unregulated alcohol markets vulnerable to the interests of the alcohol industry.