Sep
22
2007

Beer-ware: Finland to put warnings on alcohol containers

Label the labels: Finland will soon be requiring health warnings on all alcohol containers to try to prevent problems and accidents that come from over indulging. Do you think this will be an effective way to curb those problems? (Flickr photo by photos for fun)
Label the labels: Finland will soon be requiring health warnings on all alcohol containers to try to prevent problems and accidents that come from over indulging. Do you think this will be an effective way to curb those problems? (Flickr photo by photos for fun)
Here in the U.S., we have warning labels on all kinds of products that are hazardous to our health.

Now comes word that Finland has taken action to require warning labels on alcohol containers starting in 2009. The official message will read (translated into English): WARNING: Alcohol endangers the development of a fetus and your health.

The Nordic country took the action after statistics show that alcohol-related problems have become the No. 1 cause of death in Finland. Health officials report that over 25% of all accidents requiring medical treatment involve alcohol consumption. That number soars to 50% on weekends.

It’s a new tactic to deal with problem drinking in the country. It used to have a monopoly on hard liquor sales through its state-owned liquor stores, where prices were kept very high. But Finnish drinkers got around that by taking “booze cruises” to neighboring Russia and Estonia where alcohol prices were much cheaper.

To counter that, three years ago Finland cut its alcohol taxes by 40%, but has now seen the increase in alcohol-related incidents.

Do you think warning labels are going to help turn the tide on this? Are there more effective strategies to deal with problem drinking? Share your ideas here with other Science Buzz readers.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Effective strategies to deal with problem drinking? More rattlesnakes, I guess.

posted on Sat, 09/22/2007 - 12:56pm

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