Welcome to SHAAP’s (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems) weekly media monitoring service.

16 March 2017


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This briefing aims to provide a ‘snap shot’ of latest news on alcohol and health policy. The inclusion of an article in the briefing should not imply that SHAAP approves or condones the content.

SHAAP provides a coordinated, coherent and authoritative medical and clinical voice on the need to reduce the impact of alcohol related harm on the health and wellbeing of the people in Scotland. 
Alcoholic drinks may have to label ingredients after EC ruling
Alcohol industry given a year to self regulate before European Commission considers imposing regulation on labelling. Alcohol products may have to carry information about the ingredients and calories after the European Commission asked the industry to come up with proposals. A report for the EC recognised that some producers have started to carry health information on their products and recommended the rest of the industry to develop a self regulatory proposal within a year before it looks at other options. [...]
Source:,15 March 2017

A toast to the lassies: the cocktail creators paying tribute to literature's leading ladies
SUPPING cocktails on a Thursday afternoon in one of Glasgow’s most sumptuous bars … It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. In my experience journalists tend to be a glass-half-empty bunch, but every now and then you get an assignment that doesn’t feel like work at all; today is one of those days and this is one of those assignments. I’m propped on a barstool talking about two of my favourite things in life, booze and literature, with the writers of a new book that puts a smart, contemporary new spin on both. [...]
Source: The Herald Scotland, 11 March 2017

Fencing and alcohol restrictions introduced for Westfest Big Sunday 2017
People heading to Dundee’s biggest open-air free gala day, Westfest’s Big Sunday, will this year will be faced with two-metre-high fencing. Revellers will also be prevented from bringing their own alcohol into the event, due to be held on June 4 at Magdalen Green, after a clampdown by police and council officials on the unlawful consumption of drink, which has grown in recent years. As part of the licensing conditions to allow the festival to go ahead in 2017, organisers will now have to provide Herris Fencing to surround the event and extra stewards will be on duty to man the entrances and prevent people bringing in their own alcohol. […]
Source: The, 14 March 2017

Chancellor urged to conduct alcohol tax review after Scotch whisky claims
Philip Hammond has been urged to conduct an urgent review of UK alcohol tax as he was accused of targeting Scotch whisky in a Budget "money grab". An increase on excise duty on spirits worth 3.9% has already been described as a "major blow" by the Scotch whisky industry. SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes urged the Chancellor to ensure the industry is given the support it needs to succeed as he backed calls from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) for a complete review of the alcohol duty system. [...]
Source: The Herald Scotland, 14 March 2017

Jockey Club reins in alcohol consumption at Cheltenham Festival
By the time the first race got under way, many hundreds of pints had already been knocked back and a fair few punters were distinctly merry. As the day wore on, bar floors became sticky with spilled alcohol, tills heaved with beer money and frazzled staff were working hard to clear wine and champagne empties.“I don’t see much difference to previous years to be honest,” said Jimmy Jones, a businessman who usually takes a cheeky day off to enjoy a bet with his mates at the Cheltenham Festival. [...]
Source: The Guardian, 14 March 2017

Expansion of drug and alcohol prevention in schools
Extra funding has been announced to pay for a new drug and alcohol prevention programme in schools and community settings. Public Health England has awarded a three-year contract to expand Mentor UK’s Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS) programme. [...]
Source: LocalGov, 13 March 2017

Are teenagers replacing drugs and alcohol with TECHNOLOGY?
Experts describe smartphones as 'digital heroin' for millennials • Teenagers' use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco is at their lowest since the 1990s • Phones give teenagers so much stimulation they're less likely to take drugs • Experts describe screen time as 'digital heroin' for kids as it changes their brains We are fast becoming technology addicts - and the habit starts early. Research suggests teenagers might be so glued to their smartphones, tablets and televisions that they no longer have time for drugs and alcohol. The trend has been building for a decade and experts believe that technology can provide young people with a similar kick to experimenting with drugs. [...]
Source: Mail Online, 14 March 2017 '

They drink alcohol like we drink tea': Warning over off licence's booze application
Labour Councillor, Linda Lewis made the warning as she opposed newsagent application to start selling alcohol Residents who ‘drink alcohol like we drink tea and coffee’ have sparked objections to plans for an off licence. Councillors have opposed an application made by John’s News on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough to begin selling alcohol over concerns of “maintenance drinking” in the area. It is the second time the application has been submitted by the owners of the convenience store after already being knocked back for a licence in August last year. Labour Councillor, Linda Lewis, along with Cllr Zafar Uddin and Cllr Matthew Storey, objected to the application as they say the area, along with other wards across the town are “over subscribed with off licence establishments.” [...]
Source: Gazette Live, 14 March 2017

Alcohol may help you recall events more CLEARLY, claim scientists
If alcohol is consumed after witnessing a crime, it can protect memory • Scientists think this is because alcohol blocks new incoming information • Study challenges the intuitive view that alcohol is bad for eyewitness memory Ever witnessed a punch up during a boozy night out? Did you assume that you probably wouldn’t be a reliable witness because you’d been drinking? You may have been right, but our latest research indicates that in some circumstances this is not the case. There is a strong link between alcohol and crime, however in certain situations alcohol may have a beneficial effect on memory, says new research. [...]
Source: Mail Online, 13 March 2017

Alcohol abuse costs economy £900m a year, addiction charity says
Alcohol misuse costs the Northern Ireland economy almost £1 billion a year, research showed. Drinking too much caused lost productivity, premature death and unemployment, according Addiction NI. Director Thelma Abernethy said it had a significant impact on mental health. She said: "Here in Northern Ireland, it is estimated that in the region of 3.64 million working hours are lost every year due to alcohol use alone. "This coupled with the ever-increasing use of legal and illegal drugs in the workplace will have an even bigger impact on individuals, families and business. [...]
Source: Belfast Telegraph, 14 March 2017

Good News: Alcohol Might Not Cause You to Gain Weight After All
Unless you're a binge-drinker Conventional wisdom holds that to lose weight, you should cut back on drinking. However, one New York Times reporter now says that might not be true. Times writer Jane Brody looked at two decades of conflicting alcohol and weight loss-related research and eventually stumbled upon a 2015 review published in Current Obesity Reports, which provides more insight into how alcohol might actually affect your weight-loss efforts. The researchers of this study looked first at cross-sectional studies, which assessed the link between alcohol and the body mass index of large groups of people. The researchers found that in most cases, alcohol actually wasn’t associated with weight at all in men and that in women, drinkers had lower body weights than teetotalers. [...]
Source: Men’s Health, 13 March 2017

Scotch whisky industry 'committed' to providing calorie information on labels
CALORIE information is to be added to labels on bottles of Scotch whisky to inform consumers. The Scotch Whisky Association has said the industry supports providing consumers with relevant and useful information and that there was a "commitment to providing calorie information to consumers, but this must be done in a meaningful way". It comes as the European Commission called for alcoholic drinks to list ingredients and nutrition information, matching the requirement for non-alcoholic beverages that came into force in December 2014. [...]
Source: The Herald Scotland, 14 March 2017

Do We Need to Give Up Alcohol to Lose Weight? Not Necessarily
People trying to lose weight — or not gain weight — are frequently advised to “lay off the booze.” Although organizations like Weight Watchers offer ways to drink wisely within their plans, alcohol, with seven calories a gram and no compensating nutrients, is commonly thought to derail most efforts at weight control. After the winter holidays, I often hear people blame alcohol for added pounds, not just from its caloric contribution but also because it can undermine self-control and stimulate the appetite and desire for fattening foods. [...]
Source: The New York Times, 13 March 2017

Retiring judge Lindsey Kushner issues drunk women rape warning
A female judge has warned women who get drunk they are putting themselves in danger of being targeted by rapists. Lindsey Kushner QC said women were entitled to "drink themselves into the ground" but their "disinhibited behaviour" could put them in danger. Judge Kushner made the courtroom plea as she jailed a man for six years who raped a girl he met in a Burger King in Manchester city centre last year. But, Rape Crisis slammed her comments as "outrageous" and "misguided". Yvonne Traynor, chief executive of Rape Crisis South East, said: "As a judge and a woman she should know better. [...]
Source: BBC News, 10 March 2017

Here’s what a weekend bender does to your body
So here we are again. You’re not sure how you got here, you’ll piece together the last 48 hours with Uber receipts. Oh and, naturally, you’ve spent the last few hours hugging the toilet. Maybe you’ve been bingeing on beer at a hen party/stag do, perhaps you’ve been chugging straight spirits from a concealed hipflask at a festival – or a bender might just be your Friday to Sunday routine. Whichever applies, a 48-hour binge leaves you feeling like human garbage. Actual, walking, talking, human-shaped trash who is incapable of adulting. We spoke to a few experts to find out exactly what kind of implications a bender has on your body. [...]
Source:, 10 March 2017

Shift in drinking habits presents ‘significant’ opportunity for manufacturers
Brits are “actively moderating” their drinking habits, with more than half of the nation’s beer, wine and cider drinkers claiming they drink less than a few years ago, according to research from Mintel. [...]
Source: Morning Advertiser, 10 March 2017

Alcohol-free wine is a thing
If you’re offered a pour of non-alcoholic wine you might figure that you’ll just be drinking grape juice. But no. NA Pinot Noir, Prosecco and the like start out like regular vintages — as boozy as your favorite drunk uncle. Through filtering or distilling, most of the alcohol is basically vacuumed out of wine. But, hey, teetotalers, not all of it. By law, wine must be less than one-half of 1% alcohol to wear an NA label. [...]
Source: New York Daily News,13 March 2017

Why Is Everyone Giving Up Alcohol?
Dry January has been a thing for a few years. But now, more and more people are extending their dry spells—especially, surprisingly, young people. In fact, a recent U.K. survey found that nearly one in five millennials don't drink, and a full 66 percent say alcohol isn't important to their social lives. Other research showed that less than half of people ages 16 to 24 said they drank in the past week, while two-thirds of those aged 45 to 64 said the same thing. [...]
Source: Shape, 10 March 2017

Tax on wine: How much do you pay in the UK? – Ask Decanter
Another UK Budget has brought potential disappointment for wine drinkers with news that wine duty will rise in-line with inflation. But how much tax are you paying on wine, and how does it change depending on what you spend? Every year we hear a raft of stories about tax on wine, as well as beer and spirits, as the UK chancellor unveils the latest plan to juggle the nation’s in-comings and out-goings. […]
Source: Decanter, 09 March 2017

UK alcohol duty rates to rise with inflation
From 13 March 2017, duty on beer, cider, wine and spirits will increase by RPI inflation (currently 3.9%), effectively ending a freeze that had protected beer and spirits from further duty increases. A freeze on wine had already been lifted by the chancellor in the Spring statement last year. The government also announced plans to consult on introducing a new duty band for still cider just below 7.5% abv to target high strength white ciders, and the potential for a new duty band for still wine between 5.5% and 8.5% abv, which could give lower alcohol wines a break. […]
Source: The Drinks Business, 08 March 2017

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