The release of the food law and labelling report last week in Australia and New Zealand (see yesterday’s post) has been stimulating public discussion about alcohol warning labels. Check out this video clip from TVNZ between an industry ad expert and a spokesperson from the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC). I find interesting the discussion about how alcohol is different from tobacco and the widespread support from public health officials in spite of the fact that evidence suggests that warning labels increase awareness but do not change behaviour, especially in “high-risk” groups.

February 1st also marks the first annual FebFast event in New Zealand. Organized by the Drug Foundation of New Zealand, this is a month-long fundraiser where participants are encouraged to take a month off from alcohol to give their bodies a break. It costs $25 to join; if you need “time out” to celebrate a special occasion, you can buy a $25 date stamped Time Out Certificate.  Funds raised are donated to alcohol and drug programs for youth. This is the first time the campaign has been held in New Zealand. In Australia, over 10,00o people have participated over the past three years.