AMA calls for warning labels on alcohol

The Australian Medical Association has called on the federal government to make it compulsory for alcohol products to carry warning labels such as those found on cigarette packets.

The AMA said warning labels were needed to keep consumers aware of the dangers.

Federal president of the AMA Dr Steve Hambleton told Newsbytes other countries used labels and if Australia failed to act it risked being left behind.

He said cigarette warning labels worked in Australia and would be effective if used on alcohol products.

“There is clear evidence that the cigarette labelling campaign has reduced the number of people smoking and has reduced the number of people taking up smoking,” he said.

Dr Hambleton said young people were at risk from alcohol and companies constantly targeted them.

Alcohol companies used sport to make their product appeal more and a balance was needed which the label would provide.

“The alcohol marketing is still targeted at recruiting the next generation,” he said.

“The link with sport is strong and they are targeting them with that – their heroes and sport – it’s stuck in their faces.”

Carlton United Breweries (CUB) spokesman Dan Holland said the company had updated labels to include a prompt to a drink-wise education program.

He said the drink-wise program was launched in July and was a way for CUB to act on consumer safety.

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