Brits support alcohol warning labels

A majority of the British public is in favour of new labels on alcoholic drinks that warn of the risk to health of overconsumption.

The findings come from a report published this week that shows widespread public support for the UK Government to do more to address the harms caused by alcohol to society, such as ill health, violent crime, domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour.

A survey by the Alcohol Health Alliance UK found public support for policies that decrease the affordability of alcohol, such as minimum unit pricing, as well as those that place greater restrictions on alcohol advertising to protect children, such as a ban on alcohol TV advertising from 6am-11pm.

A large majority – 70% - believe that warnings that exceeding the drinking guidelines can be harmful to health should be displayed on alcohol labels as a legal requirement.

The report comes ahead of the publication of a new Alcohol Strategy for England, which is currently being prepared by government officials.

Every day, more than two dozen people in Britain die of alcohol-related causes, and 33 people are diagnosed with alcohol-related cancer. The financial cost to the NHS in England alone is estimated at £3.5bn per year.

“This report shows that the public recognises that the UK has a problematic relationship with alcohol, and that they want the government to do more to address this,” said Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance. “The UK Government is currently preparing a new alcohol strategy for England, and this data is a clear call to action: the public wants the government to introduce policies that decrease the affordability and availability of alcohol and will make a real difference to the people’s lives.”

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