Swanswell welcomes calls for cigarette-style health warnings on alcohol labels

11 August 2014

Calls from an influential group of MPs for cigarette-style health warnings to be introduced on alcohol packaging to warn people about the health risks, are being welcomed by Swanswell.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to a host of recommendations made by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Alcohol Misuse, as part of their 2015 Manifesto.

MPs from the APPG are calling on political parties to commit to ten measures to effectively minimise alcohol-related harm in the UK, which costs the economy around £21 billion a year to deal with.

The group has said clear health warnings should be placed on drinks labels to highlight the risks of alcohol, similar to those on cigarette packets that warn about the risk of cancer and other related problems.

Calls to introduce alcohol minimum unit pricing, strengthen marketing regulations to protect children and young people, and for an increase in funding for treatment are also among the recommendations being welcomed by Swanswell.

In addition, MPs have asked for public health to be introduced as a fifth licensing objective to help local authorities make licensing decisions, based on the local population's health need and the density of existing outlets that sell alcohol.

Swanswell has been a regular guest at the APPG on Alcohol Misuse this year and is pleased with the widespread recommendations included in the 2015 Manifesto.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Education is key to helping people make informed choices about their relationship with alcohol, so we welcome calls for clear and more prominent health warnings on labels.

Other measures suggested by the APPG, including introducing minimum unit pricing and increased funding for treatment, will also make a big difference to the lives of millions of people drinking at harmful levels, so we hope politicians will take this seriously.

Ultimately though, tackling problem alcohol use is not something any single government, organisation or individual can do on their own – we all have a part to play.’              

The APPG has also asked for a reduction in the drink-drive limit in England and Wales – from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg/100ml of blood, in line with the rest of Europe, starting with drivers under 21.

In September and October, Swanswell will be raising awareness of the consequences of drink-driving, particularly the morning after, while it’s at the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats fringe events. It’ll debate a solution to end deaths linked to drink-driving.

Debbie added: ‘Around 280 people needlessly lose their lives every year on our roads because of drink-driving – these deaths can be prevented, so we need a clear solution to ensure people aren’t risking their lives and others by getting behind the wheel after drinking.’







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