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Know how much alcohol you’re really drinking

Media release - March 30 2004

Know how much alcohol you’re really drinking

The Alcohol Advisory Council is launching a campaign to promote the Standard Drinks measure so New Zealanders will know exactly how much alcohol they are drinking.

ALAC Chief Executive, Dr Mike MacAvoy, says that people talk about their alcohol consumption in terms of the number of glasses or bottles of alcohol they drink but this does not provide an accurate measure of the amount of alcohol they are consuming.

“You can’t know how much alcohol you’re drinking just by the number or size of the glasses, cans or bottles you consume. It’s the amount of alcohol in your drink that counts. Because every wine, beer and spirit has a different alcohol content, you could be drinking different amounts of alcohol each time you pour a glass of wine or chose a beer.”

Dr MacAvoy said the Standard Drinks measure lets drinkers know exactly how much pure alcohol is in their drink.

“There are 10 grams of pure alcohol in one Standard Drink. That’s why you need to look for the Standard Drinks icon or description on your drink label – it tells you how much alcohol you’re really drinking,” says Dr MacAvoy.

The Standard Drinks measure has been on alcohol labels since 2002, but Dr MacAvoy says that ALAC decided to promote it because most people were unaware that the measure existed or how to use it.

“We know that people like to understand what they consume. We are working closely with the liquor, hospitality and retail industries to encourage New Zealanders to know what they really drink. We are promoting awareness of the Standard Drinks measure through television, radio and print advertising and distributing informational brochures through retail outlets,” says Dr MacAvoy.

“If you care about how much pure alcohol you are consuming, the Standard Drinks measure tells you in simple language. Just look at the drink label.”


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