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
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.