COOL with zero alcohol

Every third person in South Tyrol drinks little or no alcohol. Alcohol-free experiences are also the focus of the new alcohol prevention campaign with the slogan: coolkommanull.

A healthy lifestyle and abstaining from or reducing the consumption of alcohol are the trend worldwide. “CO,OL”, the new edition of the alcohol prevention campaign, which was presented today (January 26) at a press conference in Bolzano, is also based on this.

Project manager Madgalena Platzer (Forum Prävention) explained the content and goals of the campaign: “‘CO,OL’ wants to encourage abstinent people in their consumption attitude. We want to offer people the chance to reconsider their alcohol consumption and increase social acceptance towards not drinking.”

“Consumer habits are changing: Not drinking alcohol at least one time of the year is also a trend in South Tyrol,” said Peter Koler, director of Forum Prevention. The trademark of the campaign – a white exclamation mark on a red crown cork – remained the same, the message is now, after the pandemic years, deliberately chosen to be positive and friendly.

Günther Burger, Director of the Provincial Health Department, recalled the development of the prevention campaign, which has addressed alcohol consumption since 2006 with eleven different editions so far. According to Burger, progress has been made since then. For example, the number of high-risk drinkers aged 18 to 64 in South Tyrol has decreased from 49 percent to 34.6 percent since 2005. But prevention work remains essential in view of the serious health, social and human costs of alcohol abuse. “The image that alcohol is part of celebrating, of having fun, of special moments, is ingrained in many of us, but the zeitgeist is evolving. This year’s campaign expresses that well.”

Martin Fronthaler, head of the Bad Bachgart Therapy Centre, brought greetings from those affected, who “always have a special eye for this campaign”, Fronthaler said. This year’s message stands out because of its new approach, he said: The focus is not on renunciation, he said, but on showing alternatives – experiences, relationships, activities. This is the heart of psychotherapeutic work and in this sense the campaign has not only a preventive aspect, but also a therapeutic one, Fronthaler said.

In Italy, South Tyrol has the highest number of hospital admissions with alcohol-related causes, reported the medical director of the South Tyrolean medical company, Josef Widmann. But there have also been improvements, according to Widmann: “The prevention measures and campaigns of the past years of the South Tyrolean Sanitary Service and its partners have contributed to the fact that South Tyroleans are more aware of the topic of alcohol. This is also shown by the current figures and statistics. This year’s alcohol prevention campaign is life-affirming, positive and does not need to point fingers. This makes it very contemporary.

The campaign subject is four different scenes that exemplify a variety of situations where it is all about enjoying the experience and drinking alcohol is not necessary at all. The message – “cool with zero alcohol” – is spread nationwide through various communication tools, including selfie-style videos for social media and public screens, a large-scale billboard, illustrations in print and a specific landing page: The campaign will also be present in public transport across the country.

The campaign as part of the provincial prevention plan was first implemented in 2006. It is supported by the Provincial Department of Health (Landesabteilung Gesundheit) and the South Tyrolean Sanitary Service (Südtiroler Sanitätsbetrieb) and implemented by the Forum Prävention. Its long-standing trademark is a white call sign on a red crown cork. According to the ASTAT study (2019), every third South Tyrolean (33 percent) knows the campaign. Of these, nine out of ten agree with the message it conveys.

Find more from (Italy, January 2023)

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