Government unveils alcohol promotions code

Supermarkets will be forced to display information on the health impacts of alcohol under Government plans unveiled today (May 13).

Revealing its mandatory code of practice on alcohol, the Government says it will use powers from the Food Safety Act to make supermarkets act.

It will also ask alcohol retailers to display information about the alcohol unit content of drinks.

In plans designed to crackdown on “irresponsible” promotions, the Government is also planning to ban on-trade promotions including “all you can drink for £10” promotions and so-called “dentist’s chair” events, where alcohol is poured directly into the mouths of revellers.

In addition, “where it is reasonably available” pubs must offer free tap water to customers while all bars, pubs and clubs will have to offer a 125ml measure of wine and 25ml or 35ml measures of gin, rum, vodka and whisky.

Jacqui Smith, home secretary, says the intention of the plans, which will be the subject of a 12-week consultation, is to “crackdown on the minority of businesses whose irresponsible promotions fuel the excessive drinking” that leads to social problems.

Alcohol Concern, says the code is a “necessary step” to cut alcohol-related crime and health problems.

The focus on the on-trade and retailers will be some relief to the alcohol industry who have so far avoided any requirement to place mandatory health warnings on packaging and within advertising, although the

The government also confirmed that it is not planning to introduce minimum pricing per unit, as recommended by its Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson earlier this year, as it would “punish unfairly the sensible majority of moderate and responsible drinkers”.

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