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Should there be graphic warnings on alcohol products?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – When you’re at the liquor store, would you buy a bottle of booze if it said “Drinking causes liver cancer” in big, black letters?

Canada has had graphic warnings on tobacco products for years, and St. Mary’s University PhD student Mohammed Al-Hamdani feels it’s time to explore whether alcohol should get the same treatment.

“The first lesson [learned from the tobacco warnings] is to place text warnings that specifically target risky drinking patterns, like drinking and driving or drinking while pregnant,” he tells News1130. “The second lesson is exploring the option of adding pictorial warnings, for example a picture of a diseased liver accompanied by a message that explicitly says ‘Excessive drinking leads to liver cancer.'”

Al-Hamdani also wants to examine whether liquor bottles should be stripped of all logos, text, and pictures.

“I’m not trying to say do not drink; that’s not the idea,” he says. “All that I’m trying to say is heavy drinking and risky drinking patterns are detrimental to public health and hike up public health care costs. Those are the two patterns that the alcohol warnings should be focused on.”

There’s a debate underway in Australia over whether a more graphic approach to warning labels would help curb problem drinking, but it’s not something that’s on the radar in Canada.

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I don’t see any mention in the article that tobacco warnings are effective. Having been a smoker myself, and knowing smokers, I doubt it.

I also know that I would buy a bottle of wine if I feel like it regardless of dire warnings on the label. I already know that drinking during pregnancy and drinking and driving is wrong. So, I suspect, does everybody who doesn’t live in a cave. Saying it one more time is not going to change drinking behaviours, responsible or irresponsible.

December 09, 2013 at 6:37 pm

What about fast food? What about driving fast? What about jay-walking, not putting your coat on ..etc.?

Society should be nothing more than huge billboards disaplying what horrible things can happen to you.

December 09, 2013 at 12:01 pm