The government has a 'prevention blind spot' in its alcohol strategy

29 Mar 2012
Diane Abbott, Shadow Public Health Minister, attacks the government’s ‘prevention blind spot’ over alcohol strategy:

‘For more than a year, I have argued that setting a minimum pricing would be a bold step and the right decision, so I’m delighted that we’ve managed to defeat Andrew Lansley and his friends in big business on this. It is a really bruising defeat for Andrew Lansley. However, the problem is that the government has a huge prevention blind spot in its alcohol strategy, which, unfortunately, may well end up drowning out measures to set a minimum price.

‘Educating young people on the risks of alcohol has been removed from the curriculum, and the Government voted against Labour proposals for stronger licensing powers for local councils to take action in their areas. And just this week, for example, Ed Vaizey quietly ruled out taking any action on getting a grip on alcohol advertising.

‘The government’s position is a real mess because we have a Prime Minister at war with his own health secretary about the right course of action, when the figures show that what’s needed is proper leadership.’

‘There’s a range of significant measures that we need to seriously consider to start empowering people to make the healthy choice.’

A Comprehensive alcohol strategy – Further Government Action

Marketing and Education:

Introduction of a statutory code of practice on the marketing of alcoholic beverages, including a ban on:
1) Broadcasting of alcohol advertising at any time that is likely to be viewed by young people
2) Alcohol industry sponsorship of sporting, music and other entertainment events
3) Marketing of alcoholic soft drinks to young people
Alongside other measures, including:
1) Adoption of French-style ‘Loi Evin’ marketing policy aimed at protecting children through alcohol free media and cultural environment
2) Public and school-based alcohol educational programmes as part of a wider alcohol-related harm reduction strategy


1) Reform the licensing system to place a duty on local authorities to promote, take into consideration, protect and improve public health when granting or renewing licences
2) Make it a legal requirement to prominently display a common standard label on all alcoholic products that clearly states alcohol contents in units, recommended daily UK guidelines for alcohol, calorie, sugar, salt and fat content, and a warning message that exceeding these guidelines may cause the individual and others harm
3) Make it a legal requirement for retailers to prominently display at all points where alcohol products are for sale information on recommended UK daily and weekly guidelines for alcohol consumption, and a warning message that exceeding these guidelines may cause the individual and others harm


For more info, please contact Gabe Trodd on 0207 219 4426

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