UK Worried Over Women Drinking in Excess

Women in their prime are the target group for the UK government's anti-drinking advertising campaign this summer that their excess drinking behaviour could lead to breast cancer or liver failure.

Ministers have approved the controversial move costing the exchequer £10 million in an effort to persuade women, especially in their thirties and forties, to cut down on their drinking with new evidence showing that their excessive consumption is harmful for health, says Dawn Primarolo, the Public Health Minister.

Three former Health Secretaries have already called for higher taxes on alcohol to curb Britain's binge-drinking culture. From all accounts the taxes are slated to go up in the next month's budget and there is already a talk of the death of £2.99 a wine bottle, the lowest price at a supermarket.

Primarolo said: 'I'm concerned that a lot of women are drinking much more than they think they are.' Recent studies reported already in delWine, indicate that the glass size has gone up from 125 mL to even 250 mL and 375 mL in some cases. With alcohol content going up from 12% to 15-16% made her remark, 'these are women who may think that one glass of wine equals one unit. But with the increased (alcohol) strength of wine and large size of glasses these days, it could be anything from one and a half units up to three and a half units, if it's a large glass of Rioja.

'The health warnings featuring graphic warnings will be quite stark and they need to be quite stark. We want to ensure that women know the consequences of drinking, and know more about units so they can decide how much they are going to drink,' she added.

However, the government fears that too much tax hike would encourage 'booze cruise' shopping, encouraging drinkers to go to France for cheap imports to drink at home. It also has sympathetic ears for the moderate drinkers who would resent being clobbered with higher taxes.

An interesting example of such moderate drinkers who understand the benefits of moderate wine drinking is the British Medical Association. It has recently applied for a late drinking license for its London headquarters, which already has an 11am-11pm license. BMA wants it to be extended from 9am to 1am.

The campaign, which is currently being developed and is expected to be launched in the spring, aims to inform the public about how much they are actually drinking and cut the number of alcohol related hospital admissions.

It will give clear information about how many units there are in alcoholic drinks and aims to challenge perceptions that say it is all right to be drunk.





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