Saturday 14 July 2012

Graphic warnings for alcohol. Fancy that!

I would like to officially announce my retirement from warning about the slippery slope. If non-smokers haven't got the message after this, they never will...

Alcohol packaging should carry graphic health warnings, urge doctors

Cigarette-style images would help public understand excessive drinking's link to diseases and violence, says health body

Bottles of beer, wine and spirits should carry cigarette-style graphic health warnings to make clear that alcohol is linked to cancer, infertility and violence, doctors are urging.

The UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH) says harmful drinking has become so common that "no nonsense" warnings displayed in a prominent place on alcohol products are needed to overcome widespread public ignorance about the dozens of medical conditions excessive consumption can cause.

Arresting images, such as a liver after years of alcohol-related cirrhosis or a victim of violence, could force drinkers to realise the risks they take with their health, says the FPH, which represents 3,300 public health specialists working in the NHS, local government and academia.

And it's not just the UK Faculty of Public Health, of course...

The British Medical Association, which represents 140,000 of the UK's 200,000 doctors, also endorsed the FPH's call. "We support the use of written health warnings on alcohol products", said Dr Vivienne Nathanson, its director of professional activities.

The most ridiculous job title I've ever heard of from the most disgusting trade union in the country. A pox on her and a pox on the BMA, the FPH and every other organisation that goes along with this foul but entirely predictable policy.

"But all we want is non-smoking sections in restaurants. Is that too much to ask?"

Suck it up, suckers. Plain packaging for alcohol in about three years, I'd say.


Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope they get their way. If the new puritans go down this road it is all over for them. People will reject this as they rejected it the last time it was tried and will be so disgusted, resentful and angry that they will go on to reject everything the control freaks have said about everything that is supposedly bad for your health.

Mag said...

A not-too-often mentioned problem of the medical establishment is iatrogenesis – adverse drug reactions, medical errors, etc. I wonder how the BMA and the long list of “public health” organizations would react to the idea of thoroughly informing the public of this very serious problem. Maybe there could be billboards graphically displaying iatrogenic disability and death lining the path to a hospital entrance. Maybe we could have a smattering of graphic posters strategically placed around hospital wards and beds. And we should certainly have a series of the informative posters at doctors’ consulting rooms – something understated along the lines of “DOCTORS KILL”.

Suboptimal Planet said...

I'm with Anonymous.

Although it was predictable that "health" campaigners would try to take us down this road, and that some hateful government ministers would go along with it, the public will only tolerate so much.

Our FPTP system makes this difficult, but people will vote for a party that calls a stop to this nonsense before we see plain packaging for alcohol.

If I'm wrong, all hope for the British people is lost.

Anonymous said...

Mag, I would like to see all health workers mandated to wear white uniforms emblazoned with graphic health warnings about drug reactions, misdiagnosis, negligence, off label selling etc and a statement about their incesstious relationship with gigantic pharma and their single issue fanatic front groups. Maybe a hypocritic oath " first do enhance big pharma profit" across the shoulders.

nisakiman said...

Yep, I can see that being wildly popular with the patrons of Le Gavroche, looking at their bottle of Chateau Lafite in the centre of the table plastered with medico-porn. And of course, when the mandatory brown paper bag outer wrapping (doubtless glued to the bottle to prevent removal), also covered in photoshopped medico-porn is introduced, there will be cries of joy.

And so the uglification of Britain continues apace. How have such narrow minded, joyless drones managed to take control? Didn't anybody notice their stealthy climb up the greasy pole? I really feel we are fast approaching the metaphorical lamp post / piano wire scenario. These people think they're untouchable; they have a superiority complex.

They must be brought to heel.

Mag said...

Anon, some good, workable ideas there.

Hippocratic Oath: First do no harm.

Hypocritical Oath: First do fo’ pharm.

Or, maybe:

I’m a doctor.

I might help you,

or I might kill you.

Even I don’t know.

Have a good day!

Mag said...

We could also entertain the idea that these miscreants of “public health” – the medical associations and the dismembered body-organ (lung and heart) and disease (cancer) groups - should be required to make their public appearances in “plain packaging” (i.e., brown paper bag over the head).

westcoast2 said...

These are sensible and balanced measures. This is a health issue after all, so we all need to support any measure that may help improve overal health.

Those who are drinking to excess may be helped by these warnings. These measures could well aid them in reducing their drinking to a healthier level.

It is not like we are calling for engraved health messages on pint glasses or anything as extreme as that, no we are proposing sensible, evidence based health measures that any reasonable person would support.


prog said...

I think it’ll take more than three years - they’d have to tackle alcohol advertising and sponsorship first (unless they attempt all in one go). Major obstacles, though unless public perceptions shift plain packaging will happen at some point.

But I fear that the majority of the public will quietly accept (albeit begrudgingly) large graphic warnings because they would not see it as a serious infringement of their personal freedom. They will carry on regardless whether or not they believe the warnings, totally ignorant as to the sinister implication – ‘you have been warned and therefore should expect to pay the consequences, not only personally but by being discriminated against when seeking medical help from the State. We will also use your children to force you to comply’.

Major differences to tobacco are that - most smokers now accept the risks but try to ignore them, they are a minority section of the adult public and no level of smoking is regarded as safe (hence the justification for smoking bans). These don’t really apply to drinkers so they will assume they are immune to similar draconian control, not least that drinking inside a pub will never be banned. Little do they realise that they are the primary target. It’s not as though they can deny that alcohol is clearly associated with antisocial behaviour, including violent crime and dangerous driving - unlike tobacco.

With hindsight, there was hardly a peep from smokers for everything that has been imposed on them, including the prohibition of smoking on public transport. Whingeing at best, including the smoking ban in all workplaces. But highly publicised complaints about the latter have focussed almost entirely on economic issues - closure of pubs and clubs etc, rather than a direct challenge of the science. It is only the likes of you and a relatively few others (including F2C) that highlight the corruption and deceit of the puritans. Forest, SOPC, libertarian MPs et al side step the cause of the problem by calling for separate smoking rooms without really questioning why ANY rooms must be smoke free. This is why their campaigns are almost certainly doomed to failure.

Let’s imagine that display bans and plain packs had been imposed, though not a smoking ban. Would anyone really be bothered about sitting in the pub smoking a fag sold ‘under the counter’ in a ‘plain’ pack, largely covered in a graphic warning? I doubt it, judging by what has happened since 2007 (and much earlier). The Healthists know this – in the eyes of the masses their smoking ban experiment has worked, as has their display ban and probably as will the plain pack initiative. Proof that the public is indeed gullible and ignorant. Nevertheless, drinkers will prove harder to ensnare.

Stuart H. said...

I believe numerous surveys have shown that doctors are the profession most likely to over-use alcohol, often with disastrous effects.
When, then, will the BMA back moves to make it as easy to at least temporarily 'de-licence' a GP who regularly hits the sauce as it is to take away the driving licence of some chap who gets caught driving slightly over the limit - thus losing his job and causing severe hardship to his family?
And if the BMA are serious about such graphic warnings, logically shouldn't we also have them in hospitals and GP surgeries, warning about the possible dangers of medical malpractice if your doc is having an off day?
Or is it just far easier for upper middle class 'professionals' to join in the demonisation of all proles as boozy, child-abusing thugs than it is to face up to the very real - often quite tragic- effects of irresponsible behaviour by a small minority of their number and genuinely self-regulate, rather than closing ranks.

Richard Carey said...

Given that the most prolific mass-murderer in British legal history was Harold Shipman, I propose all doctors should be forced to display prominent posters stating: WARNING - YOUR DOCTOR MAY TRY TO MURDER YOU.

Dave Smith said...

Have you listened to yourselves? You must have serious problems if you are worried about health warnings that are telling the truth. Seriously. Calm down. Have a pint, if you want - but know the damage it IS doing to you. Acting like arseholes about this does not change the science. You might as well be arguing the earth is flat. You are making as much sense.

Ivan D said...

Nathanson obviously could not continue as Head of Science and Ethics after getting the science behind smoking in cars wrong and then behaving unethically by lying on the radio about it.

Instead of being fired, as she would have been if she worked for any of the industries she loves to target, she is simply given a new title and allowed to carry on.

The medical profession clearly believes that the standards by which mere mortals are judged do not apply to those who pass a medical degree. They are beginning to make bankers look good.

nisakiman said...

@ Dave Smith

Dave, I think you are missing the point here. That point being, given the relentless, mostly fallacious torrent of propaganda we are daily subjected to by those who would have us live our lives according to their diktats,is any further debasement of our close environment really necessary?

Be honest, Dave. Do you really think that anyone not deaf, dumb, blind and living on a remote island with no means of communication is unaware of what the doomsayers are trying to tell us? Do you honestly think that disfiguring a bottle of nice wine will make one iota of difference? This is uglification for uglification's sake. Pure, unadulterated spite born of blind prejudice.

Health warnings telling the truth? Do us all a favour, Dave, and step back and take a good look at the real world.

timbone said...

We need a crisis, a real crisis. A National crisis. I do not desire such a thing, as a National crisis would hurt. It would however put a full stop to all this petty fiddling about with things like tobacco and alcohol and salt and sugar and kebabs and cola, things which would fade into the background when seen in perspective. When you sit alongside the health freak and the vegan in torn clothes, there is very little difference.

Fredrik Eich said...

"You might as well be arguing the earth is flat."
at the risk of bieng pedantic, there was a considerable amount of dabate as to wether the sun revolves around the earth or not but it was accepted by the romans and the greeks that the world was not flat because they could see that it was not when they farted about on the oceans.
Hope that helped.

Anonymous said...

This reeks of the WHO and the EU.

Anonymous said...

There are a couple of issues worth mentioning here

-The propaganda for alcohol drinking is where it was with smoking in the 90's.Way too early and without the back of the Big Pharma.The antis though coming after their success with smoking,seem to be in rush to move in the next area full of 'future guaranteed grants'.

-The main issue is that they don't promote abstinence.They have reduced the daily consumption according to their guidelines,some of them have mentioned that there is no safe threshold limit of alcohol,but they haven't touched the red line,same way as smoking.

-Another major issue is the personal bias of the doctors themselves.As Stuart H mentioned,Doctors are overdrinkers themselves,how can you promote something that you don't actually believe in?But again,same way as happened in the 70s -80's and onwards when most doctors were smokers,I see the medical establishment to move on and try to 'indoctrinate' the younger doctors about alcohol

We'll just have to wait and see..

Anonymous said...

Or are they going to start arresting the drunks in the pubs,same way they do it in Alaska? Now that would be fun to see!!!