UK: Cigarette-style warnings on alcohol soon to be mandatory?

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is calling for new labeling regulations on alcoholic drinks in the UK.  Graphic cigarette-style health warnings on bottles and cans of alcohol would make clear the strength of each drink and the risks of exceeding the recommended limit says the RSPH. According to the public health body, less than 16% of the population knew the new reduced limits for alcohol intake set by England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies. The limit is 14 units per week for both men and women, which is less than 5 pints or 7 glasses of red wine per week.

EU regulations so far only stipulate to display the alcohol by volume (ABV) on alcoholic drinks. In addition there are voluntary guidelines in the UK to mention also the units per pack or serve, a pregnancy warning and signposting to

“Having a drink with friends or family is something many of us enjoy. However, the potential health consequences of alcohol consumption are more serious than many people realise,” said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH. “Consumer health information and warnings are now mandatory and readily available on most products from tobacco to food and soft drinks, but alcohol continues to lag behind. If we are to raise awareness and reduce alcohol harm, this must change,” she added.

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