Alcohol industry arguments for putting profit before health in the midst of a pandemic
In an effort to limit the impact of alcohol on the Western Australian (WA) health system during the coronavirus disease (COVID‐19) pandemic, the WA Government introduced temporary restrictions on takeaway alcohol purchases for several weeks in March and April 2020. In response, alcohol industry representatives encouraged the WA Government to remove the restrictions and replace them with a voluntary alcohol industry initiative. We looked at alcohol industry representatives' comments in media and online publications during this period. We found that the industry framed alcohol as an essential product, focused on the impact of the restrictions on WA businesses and framed the restrictions as complex and ineffective. The themes and arguments we identified are commonly used by the alcohol industry and are not unique to the pandemic. The alcohol industry's response to the COVID‐19 restrictions in Australia provides a unique case study of how the alcohol industry attempts to interfere in public health policy.