Warning Over Alcohol-Themed Gifts

15 December 2018, 10:42 | Updated: 15 December 2018, 11:18

Alcohol Themed Christmas Presents

An expert on substance misuse wants people to think twice before handing over alcohol-themed novelty gifts to women at Christmas.

Professor Carol Emslie stressed the alcohol-related death rate for women in Scotland is higher than the rest of the UK.

She said products such as Christmas jumpers with the slogan GINgle Bells, gin candles, cushions that read Oh Come Let Us Adore Gin and T-shirts with the slogan Ho Ho Ho Pass the Prosecco all send out the wrong message.

Prof Emslie, who leads Glasgow Caledonian University Substance Use and Misuse research group, has joined up with Alcohol Focus Scotland to launch social media campaign #dontpinkmydrink to target focused marketing of alcohol to women.

National Records for Scotland figures show there were 1,235 alcohol-related deaths in 2017 - 854 were men and 381 were women.

Despite a significant drop in alcohol-related deaths since 2001, death rates are still higher in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.

Prof Emslie said: "There's been a huge explosion in gimmicky alcohol-themed gifts for women this Christmas.

"Perhaps in the past we've ignored this but I urge everyone to think twice about buying these gifts this Christmas.

"They send out a worrying message about the normalisation of alcohol in Scottish society to our nearest and dearest.

"Alcohol-related death rates for women in Scotland have come down but they are still worse than the rest of the UK. There is still a lot of work to be done."

The campaign is aimed at "identifying and exposing examples of cynical marketing which seeks to link alcohol products to women's friendships, feminism and empowerment" and encourages people to post these on social media.

Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: "Whether we are shopping for cards, homeware or sportswear, nowhere is safe from gimmicky products that encourage us to reward ourselves with a drink or link alcohol with female friendships and empowerment.

"The #dontpinkmydrink campaign is a positive way for us to call out alcohol producers and retailers and tell them we won't endorse their products."