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  1. #1
    Mid
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    ''Alcohol consumption could harm yourself, children and family''.

    Global Liquor Makers Fight Graphic Labels in Thailand
    PATRICK BARTA And CHRISTINA PASSARIELLO
    SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

    Alcohol companies world-wide are lining up to fight a Thai plan to require graphic warning labels about alcohol on the country's domestic and imported beer, wine and liquor bottles.

    The proposed labels—which would cover 30% of the bottles' surface area—include unusually explicit warnings about risks associated with alcohol use.

    One picture shows a shirtless man grasping a woman by the hair and raising his fist to hit her, accompanied by the words, "Alcohol consumption could harm yourself, children and family."


    Part of a proposed label warning alcohol can lead to disability or death.
    Alcohol Control Committee Office, Thailand Ministry of Public Health

    Another shows a pair of bare feet dangling in the air after an apparent suicide and the words, "Alcohol consumption could alter consciousness and lead to mortality." Others show diseased livers and a bloody motorbike accident.

    The labels "are the most extreme we've ever seen," says Brett Bivans, vice president of the International Center for Alcohol Policies, a Washington-based not-for-profit group funded by alcohol companies.

    If the plan is adopted, such companies as Diageo PLC and Pernod Ricard SA would have to include the labels on all their brands sold in Thailand, including Absolut vodka, Johnnie Walker whisky and Guinness beer.

    But predicting when—or if—adoption will happen is difficult. The Thai political system is notoriously tough to handicap, especially since unrelated antigovernment protests rocked the capital earlier this year and distracted top officials from other policy priorities.

    Under Thai law, the new labels are subject to approval by two committees that oversee alcohol programs in Thailand. One committee has already given the green light. The second, chaired by a representative of Thailand's prime minister, is reviewing the plan.

    In the meantime, liquor companies worry that Thailand is about to set a dangerous precedent that other larger countries could follow. With only 65 million people, the Southeast Asian nation will never be one of the world's biggest alcohol importers. But in 2005, it was among the first to slap graphic warning labels on cigarette packaging, such as pictures of diseased lungs. Since then, the U.K., Malaysia and other countries have followed suit.

    Liquor companies also don't like one of the main messages behind the Thai proposal: that even moderate alcohol consumption is bad. In a June report, Thailand's Center for Alcohol Studies argued "there is no 'safe drinking,' " only low-risk and high-risk consumption.

    The stakes are high enough that the U.S. government agreed to pay for a group of Thai officials to travel to Washington to meet with U.S. alcohol experts to learn about alternatives to graphic warning labels, people familiar with the plan say.

    But Thai health authorities argue that they need to take an aggressive approach toward alcohol in a country where consumption has continued to climb despite steps to curb its use, including limits on the hours when alcohol can be sold and tougher enforcement of drunk-driving rules.

    About 41% of Thais drink regularly, according to a recent government survey, up from 37% in 1996. And Thai officials say that economic and other losses from alcohol-related diseases are roughly twice as great as global norms.

    "Whatever measures the liquor industry supports are ineffective," says Samarn Futrakul, director of Thailand's Alcohol Control Committee Office at the Ministry of Public Health and a prime mover behind the plan. "Whatever they oppose turns out to be effective."

    The warning labels have been in development for a long time, but they first became a big issue in January, when Thailand alerted foreign governments about them in a filing to the World Trade Organization, which requires notifications of new measures that could affect trade.

    Liquor companies urged their respective governments to convey disapproval, and many did. At a WTO committee meeting in March, officials from the U.S., the European Union, Argentina, Australia and several other countries raised concerns, including fears that the labels would suggest moderate drinking is dangerous. They also argued that the labels would create unnecessary obstacles to trade because foreign companies would be required to make different packaging for Thailand.

    The countries raised the issues again at a WTO meeting in June without a resolution, according to a person who was present.

    "It's well known that the Thais have taken quite a strong stance on the alcohol issue in totality, and this is just one measure," says Jamie Fortescue, director general of CEPS, which represents European spirits makers. He says his group prefers educating the public about alcohol risks via a website about responsible drinking.

    Health advocates and industry leaders have long argued about the effectiveness of warning labels on consumer products. Critics maintain that graphic labels lose their sting once consumers grow accustomed to them.
    But some studies involving cigarettes have found that larger and more-graphic warnings can heighten awareness of potential dangers.

    Alcohol producers are "way behind" the tobacco industry when it comes to raising awareness about health risks, says Ruth Ruiz, a policy and information officer for Eurocare, a lobbying group working against alcohol-related problems in Europe. She says her group supports the Thai proposals.

    A survey last year about public views on labeling in Australia found widespread support for some kind of health-advisory labels on alcohol. But it found "mixed" support for several sample images, including one of a sick woman with text indicating a link between alcohol and breast cancer.

    Although some respondents said they thought labels would be more effective if, like cigarette warnings, they were more striking, others said the labels might be more useful if they were linked to wider ad campaigns conveying more information.

    In Thailand, Mr. Samarn says, surveys suggest visual illustrations of drinking risks are more influential with consumers than text warnings and they enjoy broad support. He also says cigarette use declined after Thailand began using graphic images on tobacco products, though other factors, including higher taxes for cigarettes, could account for much of the decline.

    online.wsj.com



    eurocare.org

  2. #2
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    Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Those will become collector's items worth a bunch of baht one day. I'm going to buy the entire set, and keep them in pristine condition until they become worth a bundle.

  3. #3
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    Ah they should get rid of 'Lao Khao' before sprouting to the world.
    amazed that it's legal.
    up in kalasin students drink that shit and then get wrecked in motorcycle accidents.

  4. #4
    Mid
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    Govt plans new tax to cut alcohol consumption
    November 23, 2010

    Women imbibers up by 65%, teens by 70%, health report finds

    The government has planned to increase liquor tax in a bid to better control alcoholic consumption in the country.

    The latest liquor tax hike took place last year. "We have made it clear from the very beginning that we won't raise the tax just once," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday said at a seminar.

    Held by the Centre for Alcohol Studies, the seminar discussed "Alcohol Problems in the Globalised World".

    Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the number of regular drinkers had increased by 20 per cent over the past decade.

    "The number of female drinkers, in particular, has increased by 65 per cent," he disclosed. "The number of teenage drinkers has also risen by up to 70 per cent."

    According to the Excise Department, up to 51.1 million Thais consumed alcohol in 2007 and 14.9 millions of them were regular drinkers.

    A survey by Prince of Songkla University also showed drinking teenagers faced a greater risk of being forced into sex than non-drinkers did.

    "This leads to problems such as unwanted pregnancies and abortions," Jurin said. "It's necessary that relevant authorities find measures to deter drinking and reduce the number of new drinkers."

    The Cabinet has already approved four strategies for alcohol consumption.

    The first is tax measures, restrictions on sale times and the number of distribution outlets.

    The second is about efforts to change public attitude on drinking.

    The third focuses on how to prevent drinking that leads to unsafe behaviour, illness and death.

    The fourth deals with tangible measures at community levels.

    Abhisit said the civil sector, too, could help with the controls on alcohol.

    "The monitoring of activities by the civil sector would allow better law enforcement," he pointed out.

    Abhisit said the government would also try to find out how best to control ads promoting alcoholic beverages.

    Although these ads have increasingly faced many restrictions, ad campaigns by alcohol companies have continued to appeal to the public.

    With ad messages focusing on public services, they have made many people feel drinkers are good members of society.

    "This is a problem," the premier maintained.

    nationmultimedia.com

  5. #5
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    I am 74 years old. I have three children. Seven grandchildren, and a great, great grandchild on the way. All of them, (touch wood), are healthy. We all go out and meet in the local pub every once in a while. I have drank since I was about sixteen, and I am sure my sons have been at it, since before they told me. We drink sensibly and enjoy it. Our local pub is a place where lots of families meet and the atmosphere is good. I personally, have travelled the world and have drunk some of the wierdest things, in some of the wierdest places, and am still going strong. Drink does not have to be bad. Go slow and enjoy.
    GEOFF
    MooBan

  6. #6
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    ^
    Geoff, I agree entirely. I regularly drink, but never so much as to become drunk. Usually no more than three or four standard "units" at a time.

    The real killer is cigarettes. I see so many men who are sick as dogs due to a lifetime of sucking at cigarettes, and the really harsh part is that once it causes a person's health to collapse it is too late to do anything about it.

    I have a friend who, at present, is under sentence of death. He has smoked all of his life and recently suffered his second heart attack. He probably won't see Christmas 2011. I sometimes wonder whether it would be an idea to take him around bars and schools telling people how he feels about cigarettes.

    There is no point him quitting now, he's a dead man walking.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    ''Alcohol consumption could harm yourself, children and family''.
    Could do, might do, maybe, possibly...YAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWN!

    It's about time these fucking Nanny State wankers were lined up and shot...more boring crap from the jobsworth brigade!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Those will become collector's items worth a bunch of baht one day. I'm going to buy the entire set, and keep them in pristine condition until they become worth a bundle.
    Good idea, and I'm sure the beverage industry are terrified of what this will do to their charts.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thormaturge View Post
    ^
    Geoff, I agree entirely. I regularly drink, but never so much as to become drunk. Usually no more than three or four standard "units" at a time.

    The real killer is cigarettes. I see so many men who are sick as dogs due to a lifetime of sucking at cigarettes, and the really harsh part is that once it causes a person's health to collapse it is too late to do anything about it.

    I have a friend who, at present, is under sentence of death. He has smoked all of his life and recently suffered his second heart attack. He probably won't see Christmas 2011. I sometimes wonder whether it would be an idea to take him around bars and schools telling people how he feels about cigarettes.

    There is no point him quitting now, he's a dead man walking.
    Ditto on cigarettes. If govs were half interested in saving lives they would outlaw ciggies or at least tax them prohibitively.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by keda
    Ditto on cigarettes. If govs were half interested in saving lives they would outlaw ciggies or at least tax them prohibitively.
    They do tax them heavily in many if not most Western countries nowadays but as usual governments are caught between a "rock and a hard place" and I can only refer to the UK and Ireland here.

    They want / need the tax revenues they derive from cigarettes not least to fund the National Health System in the UK, but don't want people to smoke because it makes them ill and later they have to treat them.

    Similar to paying in for your old age pension then they up the age limit in the hope you die before you claim it, typical double standards I think!

    But of course the politicians are ok they have government subsidised private health care and index linked government pensions.

  11. #11
    Nostradamus
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    The most important thing is to educate people and properly punish offenders that affect and endanger others with their alcohol related behaviour.

    It's no use crying about how alcohol affects lives while the real culprits; the people themselves are able to excuse their behaviour.

    As usual, the problem is down to a lack of responsibility from the Thais themselves.

    Raising tax will only benefit the government and may adversely affect tourism and the service sector.

    They also have a ludicrous policy of having alcoholic drinks such as wine (which is usually drank while eating) taxed to the hilt while more dangerous hard liquors such as whisky and vodkas are relatively tax free. Bizarre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    With ad messages focusing on public services, they have made many people feel drinkers are good members of society. "This is a problem," the premier maintained.
    Most of the drinkers I know are good members of society.

    Most Thais I have met are a nuisance after a few drinks and cannot handle the levels of consumption many of my Western friends enjoy.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy the kid View Post
    Ah they should get rid of 'Lao Khao' before sprouting to the world.
    amazed that it's legal.
    up in kalasin students drink that shit and then get wrecked in motorcycle accidents.
    Seems to be an unemployment solution here.

    Alcohol is just another demon authority can point fingers away from themselves at.

    Perish the thought of educating anyone.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmart
    Alcohol is just another demon authority can point fingers away from themselves at. Perish the thought of educating anyone.
    Couldn't possibly argue with that!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by keda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thormaturge View Post
    ^
    Geoff, I agree entirely. I regularly drink, but never so much as to become drunk. Usually no more than three or four standard "units" at a time.

    The real killer is cigarettes. I see so many men who are sick as dogs due to a lifetime of sucking at cigarettes, and the really harsh part is that once it causes a person's health to collapse it is too late to do anything about it.

    I have a friend who, at present, is under sentence of death. He has smoked all of his life and recently suffered his second heart attack. He probably won't see Christmas 2011. I sometimes wonder whether it would be an idea to take him around bars and schools telling people how he feels about cigarettes.

    There is no point him quitting now, he's a dead man walking.
    Ditto on cigarettes. If govs were half interested in saving lives they would outlaw ciggies or at least tax them prohibitively.
    Of course. It's well understood that governments/corporations, by their pure nature, are principally concerned with the general well-being of it's respective citizenry.

  15. #15
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    Seeing labels like that could drive some to drink ,, anyway that guy in the pic lying on the ground beside his motorbike should learn to drink responsibly , he,s making the ground wet and slippery and smelling of alchol lying his tins down that way

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bold Rodney View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by keda
    Ditto on cigarettes. If govs were half interested in saving lives they would outlaw ciggies or at least tax them prohibitively.
    They do tax them heavily in many if not most Western countries nowadays but as usual governments are caught between a "rock and a hard place" and I can only refer to the UK and Ireland here.

    They want / need the tax revenues they derive from cigarettes not least to fund the National Health System in the UK, but don't want people to smoke because it makes them ill and later they have to treat them.

    Similar to paying in for your old age pension then they up the age limit in the hope you die before you claim it, typical double standards I think!

    But of course the politicians are ok they have government subsidised private health care and index linked government pensions.
    Naa, those taxes are for the treasury, which is why the Chancellor traditionally loves smokers.

    I mean a tax to stop people smoking, rather than pay in advance for their expected medical costs later in life. Impractical of course, but something like £30-40/pack should do it, and if that doesn't work then up it in tens.

  17. #17
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    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...ing-the-bottle

    More Thais than ever are hitting the bottle

    AYUTTHAYA : The number of Thais drinking alcohol has jumped 33-fold in the past 40 years, according to substance control officials.

    About 30% of Thailand's 67 million people now drink alcohol, said Saman Futrakul, director of the Disease Control Department's Alcohol Beverage Control Office, during a seminar in Ayutthaya on the 2008 Alcohol Beverage Control Act. The seminar was attended by judges, prosecutors and police in nine central provinces.

    Dr Saman said drinkers were getting younger every year and even children were reported to be consuming alcohol.

    He attributed the sharp increase in the number of drinkers to advertising. Liquor companies use promotions which give discounts and gifts to draw in customers. Scantily clad girls are employed as presenters, known locally as "pretties", to make brands more appealing.

    Some sell alcohol in the form of lao pun, a fruit drink smoothie mixed with alcohol, Dr Saman added.

    "Lao pun is often sold near schools and universities because students are the main target," he said.

    "It's easy to drink lao pun and girls have no idea it's blended with alcohol."

    This could lead to sexual abuse of girls who get drunk easily from the smoothies, he said.

    He urged officials to enforce the Alcohol Beverage Control Act more strictly to curb the number of drinkers.

    The law is equipped with many measures to control the sale of alcohol, which includes a requirement that alcohol commercials are permitted only after 10pm and a ban on sales near schools, universities and state agencies.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  18. #18
    Mid
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    Greens outraged at NZ's Thai booze intervention
    KATE CHAPMAN
    25/04/2011


    OUTRAGED: Green MP Sue Kedgley says New Zealand's intervention is about 'free trade at any cost'.

    The Green Party is outraged that New Zealand is putting pressure on Thailand over its bid to put warning labels on alcohol.

    The World Trade Organisation said the European Union, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Mexico and the United States had raised concerns about Thailand's intentions to put health advisory messages on alcohol bottles.

    The opponents argued the labelling requirements created unnecessary obstacles to trade and could be misleading.

    But, Green MP Sue Kedgley said the Government should not interfere in Thailand's efforts to curb the harm caused by alcohol. Especially when a number of submissions on the Alcohol Reform Bill supported New Zealand introducing similar labelling.

    "In the interests of free trade our Government is intent on sabotaging a positive initiative that will assist in the health and well-being of people in Thailand."

    It was an example of the pursuit of free trade at all costs, Kedgley said.

    "New Zealanders should be concerned that our trade representatives are trying to interfere in the sovereign rights of another nation."

    stuff.co.nz

  19. #19
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    beat me to it Mid,
    Ii was just going to post this expressing my outrage at the do gooder nations, including my own, poking their nose in others business.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog View Post

    "Lao pun is often sold near schools and universities because students are the main target," he said.

    "It's easy to drink lao pun and girls have no idea it's blended with alcohol."
    So what do they think 'Lao Pun' is? An imported soft drink?

    How about some TV ads offering counseling services and encouraging sensible drinking? Should be easy enough considering most stations are owned by the govt/military.

  21. #21
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    until the law and its agencies of enforcement hold people accountable for their actions when drunk then nothing will happen, ever.

    as with most things in this country, it all comes back to the police and their unwillingness to enforce laws.

  22. #22
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan
    Ii was just going to post this expressing my outrage at the do gooder nations, including my own, poking their nose in others business.
    I'm not sure it's quite 'do-gooding' to use political pressure to prevent another nation from promoting public health. More do-badding.

  23. #23
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    Like cigarettes here.
    Hope they dont introduce it here, the jig will be up!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoff View Post
    I am 74 years old. I have three children. Seven grandchildren, and a great, great grandchild on the way. All of them, (touch wood), are healthy. We all go out and meet in the local pub every once in a while. I have drank since I was about sixteen, and I am sure my sons have been at it, since before they told me. We drink sensibly and enjoy it. Our local pub is a place where lots of families meet and the atmosphere is good. I personally, have travelled the world and have drunk some of the wierdest things, in some of the wierdest places, and am still going strong. Drink does not have to be bad. Go slow and enjoy.
    I was allowed as child to drink so it did not become an issue for me until I joined the service. As a matter of fact I did not like or enjoy it until I reached the age of 22. Maybe it is me but i feel when it is an acceptable practice it is really not a big deal.

    Now these days I gotta have a drink but only occasionally

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    until the law and its agencies of enforcement hold people accountable for their actions when drunk then nothing will happen, ever.

    as with most things in this country, it all comes back to the police and their unwillingness to enforce laws.

    It is a funny ploy,


    I did not know booze and cigarettes are bad for me so I am gonna sue you

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