Call for smoking-type graphic health warnings on alcohol products in UK

The UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH) has urged the government to place no-nonsense health warnings at easily visible places on any kind of alcohol related products, which would convince drinkers to realise its harmful effects.

Eye-catching images, such as a liver after years of alcohol-related cirrhosis or a victim of violence, could force drinkers to understand the risks they take with their health, according to the FPH, which represents 3,300 public health specialists working in the National Health Scheme, local government and academia.

“At the moment when people think about the dangers associated with alcohol they are more likely to think of a city centre disturbance rather than breast cancer, for example, so these health warnings would help educate the public and give them key information before they decide to buy a can or bottle of alcohol,” The Guardian quoted Professor Mark Bellis, the FPH”s spokesman on alcohol, as saying.

“The evidence linking alcohol to over 60 medical conditions is unarguable, so they would need to be factual warnings, not sensational. People don”t realise that drink is associated with a whole range of health harms that it increases your risk of, such as injury, a stroke, heart disease, liver disease and many forms of cancer, and don”t realise its potential long-term implications for them. This is not the nanny state. This is simply to help the public understand the risks,” he added.

The UK ministers would need to lay down the size of the warnings on the label of all cans and bottles.

“The health messages that are most important for people to see are the ones that drinks manufacturers are least likely to want to put on their products,” Bellis said.

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