Sweden’s alcohol regulation and distribution agency, Systembolaget, released a PSA a few weeks ago that has been circling the Internet. The PSA uses typical marketing tactics from the alcohol industry to point out the dangers of excess alcohol consumption. It states:

  • In Sweden, for example, more than 1 in 5 children suffer because their mom or dad drinks too much.
  • 8 out of 10 acts of violence in public places are alcohol-related.
  • And, more than 320,000 Swedes are addicted to alcohol

The original YouTube link has been taken down, but at the time of writing this, you could view the PSA here and here.

I took a look around the English section of Systembolaget’s website to see if they had any initiatives specific to alcohol and pregnancy and they had a pretty impressive Responsibility Report. While I didn’t see anything on pregnancy, I was intrigued by trends in the sales of alcohol-free products (alcohol-free is defined as a drink that contains a maximum of 0.5 per cent alcohol by volume). They are seeing a dramatic interest in alcohol-free products – in 2010, sales increased by almost 31 per cent to just over 1.3 million litres, which corresponds to 0.30 per cent of total sales volumes.

They attribute the increased interest to: demand for alcohol-free alternatives is increasing internationally, part due to stricter blood alcohol levels in many countries, to an increases focus on the harmful effects of alcohol, and to a general trend towards healthy living. No mention of pregnancy! An interesting contrast to the marketing we saw earlier this year in the UK (see an earlier post Pregnant women provide a niche market for alcohol-free wine producers).