Graphic health warnings on alcohol needed

16th July, 2012 by Martin Crummy

Alcohol bottles should carry cigarette-style graphic health warnings, doctors have urged.

The UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH) said that “no nonsense” warnings displayed in a prominent place on alcohol products are needed to overcome public ignorance about the dozens of medical conditions excessive consumption can cause.

“At the moment when people think about the dangers associated with alcohol they are more likely to think of a city centre disturbance rather than breast cancer, for example, so these health warnings would help educate the public and give them key information before they decide to buy a can or bottle of alcohol”, said Professor Mark Bellis, the FPH’s spokesman on alcohol.

The warnings could say things like “Alcohol increases risks of violence and abuse”, “Alcohol causes over 15,000 deaths a year in the UK” and “Alcohol increases risks of mouth, throat and other cancers”, added Bellis.

Already 60% of all cans and bottles of alcohol in the UK carry three types of health information agreed between producers and ministers as part of a pledge that 80% will do so by the end of 2013. 

In South Korea, Hite-Jinro has introduced warning labels on its products in conjunction with a police crackdown on violent incidents involving alcohol.

One Response to “Graphic health warnings on alcohol needed”

  1. Glugger says:

    It is universally accepted, even by smokers, that there are no beneficial side effects from smoking, nor is any amount of smoking deemed ‘responsible’. Also, the warnings on the packets would have an effect on an adult who hadn’t taken up smoking yet, but certainly don’t seem to be discouraging the youth who will do it anyway.

    Again, with drinking you’re either preaching to the moderately consuming converted, or p***ing in the wind against those who are going to do it anyway. This is not an effective way to go about responsible promotion of responsible drinking. Three words instead … Education – Education – Education

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