Tuesday 6 December 2011

Nagging All Over The World

I'm heading uptown for some pre-Christmas binge-drinking tonight, so only have time for a few observations. In the form of a whistle stop tour of three continents, here are some interesting current examples of tobacco control template mimicry towards alcohol.

In Ireland, they're using the old 'evil industry' ploy.

Experts on alcohol consumption have accused the government of giving in to ‘corporate bullying’ by the alcohol industry. Speaking last week during Mayo Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week, Professor Joe Barry and Dr Ann Hope argued that the government has allowed the industry to self regulate and has failed to curb alcohol advertising.

Prof Barry called for a total ban on alcohol advertising, especially in sport, arguing that rugby has ‘sold its soul’ with the amount of alcohol-related sponsorships it accepted. He went on to criticise the decision to appoint alcohol-industry representatives to the Strategic Task Force on Alcohol, comparing it to a drug dealer sitting on a drugs task force.
Australian anti-alcohol campaigners are only marginally more subtle. The implied contempt for a popular industry is still there, but this time in a bid to take control of health warnings on booze.

Market research has overwhelmingly rejected the alcohol health warning labels recently launched by the Australian alcohol industry in favour of informative, clear and specific labels produced by the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education (FARE).

Michael Thorn, Chief Executive of FARE said, “This demonstrates that warning labels have to be clear, contain specific health messages and prominently placed on alcohol products. The research is an indictment of the industry’s weak approach to alcohol labelling and their inability to prioritise the health of Australians.”

FARE calls on the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council to agree to the introduction of mandatory health warning labels, starting with a pregnancy warning label and to rule out any industry led system.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, they've abandoned all pretence and are openly suggesting prohibition or - taking a leaf out of the anti-smoking handbook - the more passive aggressive term, 'alcohol free'.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has called on her government colleagues to lead by example and ban alcohol at all state functions, City Press reported on Sunday.

Her call comes as her department leads government's anti-alcohol and substance abuse festive season programme that is set to be launched in the Western Cape on Wednesday.

The campaign with the theme "Towards an alcohol and drug-free South Africa" is part of an inter-ministerial anti-substance abuse programme.
Advertising curbs, health warnings and outright bans. Now where have we heard all that before, eh? They're ambitious little critters though, I'll give them that. My, don't they move fast with a proven plan to follow!

And on that note, I'm off up the pub.


Anonymous said...

Dick I don't have issues of people drinking alcohol, but I will tell them 'in your face I told you so' when non-smokers drinkers were telling me that 'smoking is a unique case'

Let's see if we are going to see a coalition of the tobacco/alcohol industry..

Anonymous said...

They just cannot resist the lure of easy money from the brewers and distillers as well.
Yes they are very sneaky "operators" are they not.

Anonymous said...

Oh here we are and here we are and here we go
All aboard and we're hittin' the road
Here we go
Naggin’ all over the world

Well gidy up gidy up get out our way
We're goin' crazy and we're Righteous today
Here we go
Naggin’' all over the world

And I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it
I li-li-li-like it, li-li-li-li
Here we go
Naggin' all over the world

We're gonna tell your mama what she’s gonna do
She’ll put a cork in that stinking booze
Here we go
Naggin' all over the world


Apologies to Status Quo

Mark Wadsworth said...

Jay beat me to it.

Anonymous said...


“ … coalition of the tobacco/alcohol industry ...”

Sadly, I suspect not, although that would clearly be the best possible thing for both industries. But any successful collaboration would necessarily involve the alcohol industry admitting that they had been – ahem – wrong from the outset about the whole demonisation of the tobacco industry and the ensuing smoking ban. And I can’t for one second see any of the big cheeses in the alcohol industry, having backed the smoking ban so enthusiastically, having the courage to swallow their pride and admit such a thing. To be honest, I think that, like most non-smoking drinkers, they’d rather leave their heads buried firmly in the sand and see their whole industry decimated in preference to accepting that they’d made a massive error of judgement and, quite simply, backed the wrong horse.

Stubborn pride, and stubborn pride alone is likely to bring about the demise of the alcohol industry, and for all the criticisms that one might make towards Big Tobacco, that's one which can't be levelled against them.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous

Oh yes I know what you mean and I totally agree with you.It's all about politics and since alcohol industry wanted to distinguish itself from the 'bad','nasty' tobacco industry with nowdays parameters nothing will change

Still, on a mid-term basis my enemy's enemy is becoming my friend

And ofcourse the key to that one is the middle class.If the middle class - due to brainwashing from the experts -is dissassociated with alcohol same way that happened with smoking, then the decline in the consumption might have unprecedented consequences and coalitions...

We'll see.Besides the whole situation with alcohol is 20 yrs delayed compared to smoking ( no safe level,restriction on advertising,tax hikes)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Jay: *Wild Applause* :)

Anonymous said...

I've seen the writing on the wall and taken up home brewing again after a lapse of fifteen years. 25p/pt, and the only tax that goes to nanny is a little VAT.

You can't argue with that.

Now, if only I could grow my own baccy?

Ian Thorpe said...

The Pnopticon society in coming, they monitor, gather data and then before we know wjhere we are, individually tailored finger wagging.

So to encourage resistance I like to remind people, "They can't put us all in prison."

When nanny tells you to stop doing something, Just Say No.