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Doctors want alcohol label revamp in bid to tackle binge drinking

22 October 2007

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Doctors’ leaders in Scotland have called for the way in which alcoholic drinks are labelled to be revamped in a bid to help tackle binge drinking.

British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland wants drink labels to carry more consistent information on alcohol content and the number of units of alcohol that are in each serving.

The organisation made the plea after research showed that more than a million Scottish people are drinking at levels which could potentially be harmful.

Drink costs the NHS in Scotland an estimated £110m a year, and around one in 30 of all deaths are alcohol-related.

Dr Peter Terry, chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said: “Binge drinking and alcohol misuse have serious social, psychological and physical consequences.

“BMA Scotland believes that much more should be done to promote sensible, moderate drinking and to move away from the cultural norm of drinking to get drunk.”

He added: “The only way that individuals can keep a check on their own drinking patterns is to have access to clear information about what they are consuming.

“By legislating for standardised labelling on all alcohol products, we can avoid mixed messages and help people to make informed choices about what they drink.”

And he said: “This approach would be a valuable addition to the Scottish government’s plans to tackle Scotland’s drinking problem.”

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British Medical Association Scotland