We Provide
Current Issues


Spacer Spacer Submissions to the Liquor Review 1996

Health Warnings

  • The Alcohol & Public Health Research Unit supports legislation to require government health warning labels on all alcohol product containers.
  • To be most effective, the label should be a strongly worded message about a single health risk, rotated from an approved set of messages with stipulated requirements on placement, size and visibility (MacKinnon 1993; Maloufe et al. 1993). The same date of implementation should be required for labels on all alcohol products, and implementation should be accompanied by a health promotion campaign on alcohol risk issues (Greenfield, forthcoming).
  • Research on United States experiences with alcohol (and also tobacco) warning labels shows that these can be an effective means of reminding drinkers of alcohol related risks, and influencing both social behaviour and the choices of individual consumers (Greenfield, forthcoming). It is concluded that warnings of health risks on alcohol containers can be a well-targeted, low cost and publicly supported mechanism for raising awareness about alcohol related harm, and for influencing the social climate in which drinking occurs.
  • An Inquiry to consider alcohol warning labels is currently being conducted by the Australia and New Zealand Food Authority in Canberra. This was instigated by a petition from the National Council of Women for alcohol container warnings about foetal alcohol syndrome.

Health warnings on television advertising

A recent study testing responses to warnings which followed televised beer advertisements suggests that they have potential in the long term, through repeated exposure, to influence beliefs about risks and benefits of alcohol. Confidence was eroded in positive beliefs about beer after the warnings were seen. Further attention to providing warnings was considered warranted (Slater & Domenech 1995).

Top | Back | Home

Kennett Brothers Web Design
October 1997