DoH launches alcohol awareness campaign

Large glass, small glass
Large glass, small glass

The government is launching its biggest ever alcohol awareness campaign today.

The Department of Health's (DoH) Know Your Limits campaign aims to let drinkers know how many units are in their drinks and to help them stick to healthy limits.

Adverts will appear on television, radio, advertising boards and in the written press advising that women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day and men three to four.

Excessive alcohol consumption has been proven to play a significant role in the development of numerous diseases, including several cancers, heart disease and stroke.


Public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: "Glass sizes have grown larger and the strength of many wines and beers has increased, so it's no wonder some of us have lost track of our alcohol consumption.

"This campaign is all about helping people understand how many units are in their favourite drinks, and helping them to keep an eye on their intake for the good of their long-term health."

It comes as a new survey reveals widespread ignorance about how many units are in a typical drink.

The YouGov poll found that 77 per cent of people do not know how many units are in a glass of wine.

More than half (55 per cent) of those questioned thought a large glass of wine would contain two units, when it actually contains three.

Over a third (35 per cent) did not know that an average pint of beer contains two units, while nearly three out of five (58 per cent) did not know a double gin and tonic also contains two units.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said it is "very pleased" the government is launching the campaign and has given its backing to it.

"Misusing alcohol destroys health, wrecks lives and puts huge strains on our health service. Individuals should take responsibility for their health and drink sensibly," said BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum.

"Raising awareness about units is only one part of the solution, however, and the government needs to tackle other issues like the accessibility and affordability of alcohol products.

"The government also needs to focus on providing more treatment for people suffering from alcohol addiction."

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