(photo credit: Wikicommons)
The Knesset Economics Committee approved on Tuesday rules that will require
printed warnings on bottles of alcohol and advertisements for alcoholic
The Health Ministry regulations will go into effect three
months after they are published in Reshumot (the gazette of new laws and
The ministry aimed the health messages at being a warning
to individuals – especially young people – not to get drunk and not to drive
after drinking. But tobacco products and tobacco advertisements have warnings
that they can kill and cause a wide variety of damages to the health of smokers
and their loved ones, and the warnings have not been shown to discourage smoking
among young people.
A senior ministry official who was not involved in
the decision to have warnings and to differentiate between different amounts of
alcohol told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the ministry initiative was
useless and possibly harmful.
It may be that labels and warnings stating
an excessive amount of alcohol in a specific drink could encourage young people
to consume high levels of alcohol just to show off instead of those below the
15.5 percent minimum. The ministry hopes the regulations will lead to parents’
supervising and limiting their adult children’s consumption of alcohol – legal
over the age of 18.
Economics Committee chairman Prof. Avishai Braverman
said the regulations were aimed at coping with the phenomenon of excessive
drinking of alcohol. “The regulations are especially important during the summer
vacation when young people are on their own,” he said.
director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu said the regulations, initiated by Deputy
Defense Minister Danny Danon, were approved by the committee in the previous
Knesset but covered the bottles themselves and advertising on radio, TV and
other electronic media, and that the ministry had not informed the cable and
satellite TV stations.
Advertisements for beverages with at least 15.5%
alcohol must post warnings stating that “Excessive consumption of alcohol
endangers life and harms health.” The letters must be in black on a white
background and cover at least 15% of the surface area of the
Newspaper and billboard ads must also present health warnings in
addition to those on TV, radio and the Internet.
Print media warnings
must cover at least 5% of the surface of each advertisement. On radio, the
warnings must be spoken at the same tone as the ad itself.
Chen, who is in charge of international commercial agreements in the Economy and
Trade Ministry, said there should not have been a differentiation between
alcohol contents of below and above 15.5%. In the US and EU, there are warnings
about all alcohol, including beer and wine. MK Yitzhak Vakhnin of the committee
said this argument had heard, but a different decision was taken.
said he would look into this complaint and discuss it with Health Minister Yael
German, who would decide if a change should be presented to the committee.