Health chiefs slam vague booze slogan that blames drinkers not alcohol

The planet’s top doctors have said boozers shouldn’t be blamed for getting smashed.

World Health Organisation chiefs have criticised the term “responsible drinking” for putting the blame on people for getting wrecked.

They argue that better language would place more responsibility on the alcohol industry to address the problem.

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It also slams the “vague” wording of the term which “does not define when to stop drinking or suggest the option of not drinking”.

Drinkers who struggle to control how much alcohol they consume are really a victim of low prices, the WHO claims.

The WHO guide states: “Across the population, any level of alcohol consumption, regardless of the amount, is associated with a greater risk of loss of healthy life.

“The vague notion of ‘responsible drinking’ that is actively promoted by alcohol producers and marketers, does not define when to stop drinking or suggest the option of not drinking.

“It does, however, create a mistaken impression that the alcohol industry is part of the solution to harms from drinking rather than a driver of the problem.

“The moralising tone implicit in ‘responsible drinking’ messages ignores the inherent risks in consuming alcohol, mischaracterising its harms as the result of a small minority of individual drinkers who cannot control their intake.

“It also can perpetuate stigmatising attitudes, wrongly blaming individual drinkers as the cause of all health or social problems linked to alcohol consumption, creating a sense of shame that stops them and their family members from seeking help when they need it.”

But Christopher Snowdon, of the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank, accused the WHO of trying to impose “nanny state restrictions”.

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He accused the organisation of ignoring how “free will and personal responsibility” play a part in excessive drinking.

A WHO spokesman said: “Less alcohol is more health. Alcohol is a carcinogen, and its consumption does not protect from diseases.”

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