It’s been a while since my last blog, so I thought I’d do a quick catch up on the latest alcohol related news in the UK.
Firstly, the minimum unit price policy that Mr. Cameron along with health lobby groups and others have been trying to push through has been put on ice. It has as not been thrown out completely, but it seems there are strong forces within government and strong industry groups that made sure it was not mentioned in the Queen’ Speech of new policies to be introduced.
In other news, the pub chain JD Wetherspoon has announced it will be the first pub to open up along the motorway, offering travellers alcoholic beverages while on their stops. They have already got the go ahead from the local council of Buckinghamshire where the M40 motorway is located. There have been some strong reactions from the road safety charity Brake who pointed out the obvious risks of increased numbers of drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol. I can only agree with them, however, the step to introducing pubs along the motorways was not as shocking to me as it perhaps should have been.
The other day, yet another report came out that stated that it is safe for expecting mothers to use “small amounts of alcohol” without increased risk of brain injury to the child. These reports come and go, and as a mother-to-be and a health promotion officer, it is difficult to hear these reports be broadcast as absolute truths on the evening news. Next week there may be a counter report, confusing mothers once again. Of course it is important not to stigmatise or moralise around mothers-to-be who have been consuming alcohol, but there still needs to be a clear message that promotes health and where alcohol is a threat to both mother and child, just like smoking so clearly is. It is unethical to say the least.
On Thursday I’m attending a conference called “Drugs and alcohol today” which will be interesting and I will be sure to write about it in my next blog.
On Friday I’m off to Sweden to celebrate Midsummer with family and friends, I hope you have a great weekend too!