Current and voluntary alcohol warning labels designed by the industry to put health messages across to the public are failing to achieve its goals, says new research from Deakin University.
In a report for AJP.com.au, Megan Haggan says the study conducted by researchers from the aforementioned university’s School of Psychology found that there is virtually no recall of warning labels on Australian alcohol products, and overall awareness was low. Visits to the DrinkWise website, to which the ‘Get the facts’ logo points, was also very low.
With his team’s findings, Peter Miller, Associate Professor of Psychology at Deakin and one of the authors of the study, called the alcohol industry’s attempts at self-regulation as “a straightforward case of regulatory failure”.
This is not really surprising since, according to Haggan’s report, the most recent audit showed that these consumer messages are only depicted on approximately a third of alcohol products. If Prof. Miller had his way, all alcohol products should have mandatory, highly visible, and black and white warning labels on the front, just like the ones seen on tobacco products.
If the warning labels on tobacco products have achieved a measure of success on conveying health messages, maybe it’s time the government did that for alcohol products too.
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