A2. Awareness of Alcohol Units in the On-trade: Ambition

What this pledge sets out to achieve, and why it is important

This pledge will help raise people’s awareness and understanding of units.

The pledge commits on-trade retailers to provide unit information to customers in on-trade premises, such as pubs, clubs and restaurants.

The majority of alcohol in on-trade premises is served pre-poured by bar staff, which means customers often do not have access to information that may be present on the labels of bottles or cans.

Improving awareness of alcohol units in drinks can help people make informed choices about when and how much they drink. It enables people to better measure their alcohol consumption and understand whether this is in line with lower-risk guidelines.

In 2009, 90 per cent of respondents to an annual ONS survey said that they had heard of alcohol units, but only 63 per cent correctly identified that one unit was equivalent to half a pint of beer and only 27 per cent correctly said that an average 125ml glass of wine contained more than one unit. Additionally, many people are unaware of the full extent of the health harms associated with alcohol misuse.

If advice on alcohol is going to be meaningful, people must be able to put it into the context of their own drinking habits. This means being able to more easily measure their intake and compare that against medical advice.

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