Supermarkets to warn pregnant women about alcohol

They must display posters showing health risks

Supermarkets and off-licences will have to display posters warning pregnant women not to drink and other health risks surrounding alcohol, under Government plans to tackle binge drinking.
 
The Home Office said the move is necessary because there is ‘confusion’ among the public on alcohol consumption but is likely to fuel fresh accusations of ministers running a ‘nanny state’.

‘Irresponsible’ promotions such ‘all you can drink’ or the ‘dentist’s chair’ will be subject to a blanket ban as part of a new mandatory code for licencees. Pubs will also have to offer a choice of drink sizes for customers, such a minimum 125ml wine glass instead of only offering larger measures.

Plans to ban multi-buy deals such as three for two offers on bottles of wine have been shelved amid concerns it will attack responsible drinkers at a time when they are already being hit by the recession. Larger offers such as buy one crate of lager or case of wine and get another free will be banned however.

The proposed measures are the Government’s answer to tackling binge-drinking and alcohol abuse and are now subject to consultation. Chris Grayling, the shadow Home Secretary, said: ‘This is the third time the Government has announced this initiative, what we need to do now is get on with tackling the problem.

Binge drinking is a big factor behind anti-social behaviour, so it needs to be dealt with. Simply re-announcing policies will not make the difference.’

Speaking yesterday, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said: ‘We do not want to stop the vast majority of people who enjoy a drink responsibly from doing so but this code will crack down on the minority of businesses whose irresponsible promotions fuel the excessive drinking that can lead people into crime and disorder or to risk their own or other’s safety.

‘It is not about penalising the majority who trade responsibly but the Government has a duty to tackle this issue which affects us all.’

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