Could Warning Labels on Alcohol Packaging Help Save Lives? Scientists recently found that cigarette-like health warnings on alcohol could help educate young adults about consumption.
The article takes into account perceptions surrounding packaging among people aged 18-35, particularly in Scotland, and was funded by Alcohol Focus Scotland, after which it was published in the journal “Addiction Research and Theory “.
Researchers at the University of Stirling concluded that the limited information available on the products does not create much of an impact.
Daniel Jones, the study’s lead author, told the Herald how alcohol use continues to be associated with health, economic and social burdens. Additionally, Jones said alcohol remains a “major contributor to disease, injury and death in Scotland and across the UK”.
Even then, he said, public awareness of the health risks posed by alcohol remains low. Study participants said current messages on alcohol packaging do not provide enough information about the dangers associated with alcohol consumption.
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Most participants also thought that the warnings on alcoholic products were new. Currently, tobacco products carry warning labels in most parts of the world. Depending on the study subjects, the warnings could help raise awareness. “They felt that such warnings could increase consumer awareness of the health risks posed by alcohol consumption, especially for younger or potential drinkers,” Jones said.
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To conduct the study, 400 young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 in Scotland were inducted. All had consumed alcohol in the previous month. In addition to taking into account their opinions on packaging and awareness, the researchers attempted to understand participants’ knowledge of alcohol damage and how they perceive current packaging.
It turns out that just writing “Please drink responsibly” didn’t work. Most participants felt that this message was ambiguous and did not work as intended, adding that companies were trying to minimize the potential dangers of alcohol consumption.