Australia Launches Warning Against Alcohol

On Tuesday, major alcohol brands in Australia initiated a voluntary health warning and printed it on their labels. The warning is directed on pregnant women and children. Australia is well-known for its binge-drinking culture.

DrinkWise said that beers, spirits, and wines will hold new labels; labels stating warnings against underage drinking and alcohol consumption among pregnant women. DrinkWise is an industry body that accounts for 80% of alcohol companies in Australia.

Trish Worth, DrinkWiser chair, said that they realize that the changes they are aiming for will not happen overnight. They, however, are hopeful to see a healthier Australian drinking culture. They added that this campaign may take up to ten years.

The new alcohol labels are launched voluntarily and were not mandated by the government. Many, however, see it as a pre-emptive strike due to a looming government crackdown on the tobacco industry.

Other than the new slogans – “kids and alcohol don’t mix” and “it is safest not to drink while pregnant” – they will also launch point-of-sale details regarding the health risks of drinking.

Many health experts, such as officials from the Australian Medical Association and the Cancer Council, said that the campaign is not enough to make a huge impact on drinkers. Mike Daube of the Public Health Association of Australia said that the problem is that the new labels only hold soft warnings and not specific health risks alcohol drinking causes.

Others, however, see the campaign as a stepping-stone towards a healthier drinking culture in Australia.


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