Swanswell says survey shows need for clearer alcohol advice

20 July 2012

News that only one third of people pay any attention to the strength of alcohol drunk at home highlights the need for clearer information, says Swanswell.

Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to the results of a survey from Market researchers Mintel which has found only 29% of people look at how much alcohol is in their drink at home

The study found that younger people were more likely to check the percentage though with 38% of 18 to 24-year-olds checking the strength, compared to 27 per cent of 25 to 64-year-olds.

But the market researchers said that this will probably be because young people are likely to drink more or want stronger drinks because they want to get drunk quicker.

It also found, overall, that fewer people are drinking at home – falling from 75% to 71% between 2009 and 2011. The frequency of drinking at home also reduced with those drinking up to three times a week dropping from 46% in 2006 to 41% in 2011.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘The results of the survey today aren’t surprising but are a clear indication that the information already out there about alcohol is not working.

There’s lots of mixed messaging about alcohol use, so it’s often difficult for people to filter through the important advice. Even when they do, it’s often confusing or as this survey suggests, people just don’t pay attention to it.

So we think there needs to be more clear, independent information about the hazards of drinking too much available at the point of sale - supermarkets and off-licences for example - to help people to make informed choices about how much they have.

However, there was some good news in the survey – fewer people are drinking at home and less often but that seems to be down to the recession, rather than them making a conscious decision because of the risks.

Tackling alcohol misuse is something no single government or organisation can do on its own – we all have a part to play.’

To find out more about Swanswell and the services it provides, visit www.swanswell.org

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