UK adds additional warning labels to alcohol

Dylan Vox | June 04, 2007

If you ever notice a pack of cigarettes that comes from a county other than the United States, they carry pretty dire warning labels in the form of skull and cross bones etc. Now the government of England has announced that they are going to be extending those warning labels to be carried on alcoholic drinks in an effort to warn against binge drinking.

In a voluntary agreement between ministers and the industry, all drinks will be expected to carry details of units and recommended safe drinking levels on their labels by the end of 2008. In addition the labels will include safety advice for pregnant women and recommendations for safe drinking.

Binge drinking, defined as consuming 10 or more units in one session for men and seven or more for women, is a major public health concern in Britain. More than 7.1 million English people are hazardous or harmful drinkers, according to official figures and the number has been on the rise over the past few years.

The government and the alcohol companies have come to an agreement on the new labels which will carry government recommendations, which state that men do not regularly exceed three or four units a day and women do not exceed two or three units a day.

"This landmark, voluntary agreement will help people calculate, at a glance, how much they are drinking and whether they are staying within sensible drinking guidelines," said Public Health Minister Caroline Flint.

"We want to make it as simple as possible for people to keep an eye on how much they are drinking and help them take the responsibility for lessening the impact excess alcohol can have on their health.

Alcohol related deaths are also on the rise and since warning labels surfaced on cigarette packs, smoking rates are down. The hope is that people will drink more responsibly. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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