The Tobacco industry has been using fairly soft health warnings to deflect attentoin away form the impositoin of harsher measures for decades. I'm not putting alcohol and tobacco in the same bag- I don't think any of us are ready for that yet, but it is inteeresting to see how the same tatics are recycled again and again.
Think before your next drink, and use only as directed on the label
Mark Metherell, Erik JensenJuly 12, 2011
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/think-before-your-next-drink-and-use-only-as-directed-on-the-label-20110711-1hax6.html#ixzz1SL7avr9o
HEALTH warnings will appear on most beer, wine and spirit products today as a result of a liquor industry decision to take voluntary measures after years of government dithering.
The warnings, aimed at young people, pregnant women and problem drinkers, will be carried by alcohol products representing 80 per cent of the market, including supermarket brands.
The interchangeable warnings are: ''Is your drinking harming yourself or others?'', ''Kids and alcohol don't mix'' and ''It is safest not to drink while pregnant''. A pictogram of a pregnant woman drinking is also available.
The labels have been developed by the industry-funded educational organisation DrinkWise Australia and the liquor industry.
A decision on government-mandated warning labels is not expected until at least the end of the year. That follows several calls from experts for warning labels in recent years culminating in the recommendation made by an advisory committee in January.
The new warning on pregnancy is less explicit than the US version, which warns of the risk of ''birth defects''.
The National Health and Medical Research Council declares that ''maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing foetus or breastfeeding baby''.
The chairwoman of DrinkWise Australia, Trish Worth, said the move was not a bid to pre-empt government measures as DrinkWise had been working on the idea since early 2008.
An obstetrician, Alex Welsh, welcomed the warnings as a way of highlighting the risks of alcohol. It was wisest for women to avoid alcohol when they were planning a baby, were pregnant or breastfeeding, but they should discuss this issues with their doctor, said Professor Welsh, NSW chairman of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
The psychiatric leader Ian Hickie said the latest research left no doubt that delaying teenagers' initiation to alcohol was the right approach. ''From a brain science point of view, you would not mix alcohol and a teenage brain at any period,'' said Professor Hickie, the director of Sydney University's Brain and Mind Research Institute.
About 14 countries, including the US, France and Germany, have mandatory health warnings on alcohol.
In Australia, the warnings will be carried by the three biggest brewers, Foster's, Lion and Coopers and virtually all big wine and spirit brands including Jacob's Creek, Wyndham Estate, Bundaberg Rum and Gordon's Gin.
The chief executive of Fosters, John Pollaers, said the agreement involving the liquor companies was a major breakthrough.
For Jimmy Lin, a restaurant manager, the warnings would do little to stop his drinking; they were not the graphic warnings of cigarette packs, and they were not things he didn't already know
Do you think alcohol bottles need health warnings?
- Yes, it's a risk to your health
- Only for the stronger forms of alcohol
- No, we all know the risks