Nine out of 10 want health warnings on alcohol labels

Almost nine out of 10 people in Victoria want health warnings on their beer, wine and spirit labels, according to new research released.

And VicHealth says the labels, which feature graphic pictures and information about alcohol’s effect on violence, cancer, hospital care and addiction, should become mandatory on all alcohol products.

VicHealth yesterday unveiled survey results of more than 1500 Victorians in a bid to step up its campaign for the Federal Government to enforce alcohol warning labels.

With Australian companies having to place warnings on products they export overseas, VicHealth chief executive Todd Harper said the community expected health information would soon be included on Australian products.

“There was a very high degree of support for simple, clear and direct labels to communicate to consumers,” he said.

“Consumers indicated very clearly they expected factual information that is serious rather than humorous.

“They wanted information that is educating and informing, not lecturing and scary.”

The phone survey found 85 per cent supported recommended daily guidelines for low-risk alcohol consumption.

Other results of the survey included:

– nine out of 10 want warnings that exceeding guidelines may be harmful;

– demand for warnings catering for, pregnant women and young people;

– three-quarters support nutritional information and a list of ingredients;

– most drinkers want to know what type of alcohol is used in pre-mixed drinks;

– there is demand for a standardised display on the number of standard drinks in containers.

Mr Harper said drinkers said they judged their alcohol intake by how they felt rather than by factual health information.

Warnings are included on alcohol sales in Sweden, India and the US with those rotating between themes having greatest impact.

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