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Are warnings on alcoholic drinks a good idea?

The alcohol industry is failing to comply with a voluntary agreement to place health warnings on alcoholic drinks, says the government. Should stricter enforcement be used?

The voluntary agreement between the government and the drinks industry was forged in 2007. In 2008, only 6% of labels met the standards. This has risen to 15%, with a projection of 19% for 2010.

England's Department of Health says it will consider mandatory labelling if voluntary agreements fail.

The Scottish Government, along with the other devolved administrations, has launched a similar consultation on alcohol labelling.

Should there be warnings on alcoholic beverages or should this be left to personal responsibility? Will the warnings help improve the long-term health consequences of alcohol misuse? Should regulations be mandatory?

Progress on alcohol labelling 'disappointing'

Changes to Have your Say


Published: Monday, 15 February, 2010, 11:06 GMT 11:06 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:48 GMT 12:48 UK

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.

Tacitus (55-117 AD)

L B

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:43 GMT 12:43 UK

Hypocrites They want the taxes but not the resulting mis behaviour They changed the law 2 make it so much easier 2 binge drink & the result is lots more drinking as ptredicted by everyone. Health warnings wont change it 1 jot

Besides given the governments well known propensity to lie about WMDs, terrorism , Global warming, public finances, knife crime , etc There is every reason to think that the warnings will be exaggerated scare mongering & downright lies

Johnny English, Bristol

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:35 GMT 12:35 UK

And I suppose the 'fresh' aitr tax will be next along with a helpful guide to breathing, the Dos and Donts

[Lorne2], London, United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:35 GMT 12:35 UK

Give people something to get healthy for, all we ever hear on the news is how the environments going down the tubes and the economy's already there, Couple that with frequent reports on how the government can't afford pensions and is it any wonder people choose to peg out early on fags and booze?

What are people trying to live longer for? We can't support people living to 80 odd, so what is the government and NHS trying to achieve by increasing longevity even further? Its a nonsense.

Jason Tew, Manchester

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:34 GMT 12:34 UK

How about "Warning - a glass of this wine contains enough antioxidants to make you live to over 100 if you have one a day?"

Stuff the government; let's all make our own booze (and drink a bit more of it), treat ourselves to an extra tab a day (if you smoke), drive an extra 5 miles per week (at the speed limit + 10% + 2mph), etc.

Toby Wilson, Thirsk

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:34 GMT 12:34 UK

Warnings on products achieve very little, but I do believe they should be in place.

Even if very few people take notice it has done at least some good.

And it stops anyone turning round and saying "No one told me!"

[brian358], United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:29 GMT 12:29 UK

Are we going to have warnings on glasses in pubs? My preference would be for a warning on each and every ballot paper; each and every planted / leaked political press article; and every publicity flyer for each of the parties. That would have some meaning!

Dusty, Sheffield

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:22 GMT 12:22 UK

"We are supposed to live in a country where free-will should be higher than the old eastern block countries. Makes you wonder which "regime" is worse.

Brian West, Trowbridge, United Kingdom "

Did you live in an old Eastern Block country then?
If not, how can you possibly know what it was like? Because "it says here"?

Stan Pomeray, Selby

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:22 GMT 12:22 UK

It's not that I agree with capital punishment for stupidity, but the problem would soon resolve itself if we took away all the safety guards and warning labels.

S King

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:14 GMT 12:14 UK

I don't health warnings on drinks bottles (or cans) will do any good at all.

We all know what the answer is - cut the serving hours down in pubs,clubs and other venues where drink s served.

Phil Edwards
North Wales,

Phil Edwards (Mr), Connah's Quay, North Wales

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:12 GMT 12:12 UK

And people would listen to them why?

Maybe if the govt looked at improving people's day to day existance and stopped the banks making ridiculous profits , basically from other people's misery, drinking would be less of a problem?

Address the cause NOT the symptom!

Glenn Willis, Lyme Regis, United Kingdom

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 12:06 GMT 12:06 UK

A waste of time and money. The government should be targeting the pubs and clubs in our city centres. These are the places where binge drinking prevails and where drinking causes a real social nuisance. Targeting alcohol on shop shelves isn't going to make a difference as people purchasing from these outlets are either responsible enough already or don't give two hoots anyway! Typically, this government have not given proper thought to yet another of it's dictatorial schemes.

Richard, Mansfield

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 11:56 GMT 11:56 UK

Despite the blatant warnings on tobacco products people still smoke. The reality is many people endulge in a destructive habit because of the fact of its being destructive, there is nothing you can do to change that.

[AGnomeCalledJimmy]

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 11:56 GMT 11:56 UK

All of these punitive laws (anti-smoking, seatbelts, drinking etc) are due to the massive burden the NHS exerts on the UK.
There is a simple answer - get rid of the National Health Service. Everyone who can afford it must take out fully comprehensive private medical insurance. Everyone else - stop smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol and driving vehicles!
If folk don't agree with this, then they can look forward to pictures of cancerous brains and livers on their favourite tipples!

BobD, Reading

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Added: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010, 11:54 GMT 11:54 UK

How long until we are all implanted with a chip that allows us a certain amount of calories, a certain amount of alcohol, tracks our GPS position by sallelite, logs who we talk to ... etc. etc.

We are supposed to live in a country where free-will should be higher than the old eastern block countries. Makes you wonder which "regime" is worse.

Brian West, Trowbridge, United Kingdom

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DEBATE STATUS

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577
Published comments:
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Rejected comments:
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