This table details the health warning labeling requirements to which alcohol beverages are subject in several countries. It also lists health warnings voluntarily included on product labels by alcohol producers. For details on labeling requirements for such information as alcohol content, caloric content, nutrition, or country of origin, please see the Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements table.
It is updated on an ongoing basis as jurisdictions enact or revise their requirements with assistance from staff of the Law Library of Congress (Washington, DC).
For an overview of these warnings by topic and of pictograms in use on alcohol beverage labels, please see Tables 1 and 2 in the IARD Policy Review Health Warning Labels on Alcohol Beverages.
If you have information about a country not currently listed, or if you find any of the information outdated, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). (2019). Health warning labeling requirements. Retrieved from http://www.iard.org/resources/health-warning-labeling-requirements/
|Country/Territory||Mandated warnings||Authority||Voluntary warnings|
|Argentina||Labels of all alcohol beverages must include |
“Drink in moderation”
“Not to be sold to anyone under 18 years of age”
|Law no. 24.788 of 5 March 1997: National Law on the Prevention of Alcoholism, Art 5|
|Australia||[pending introduction of warning on drinking during pregnancy]||Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation Communiqué 11 October 2018||Alcohol producers may apply the "Get the facts" logo and additional issue-specific message “It is Safest Not to Drink While Pregnant” or the “pregnant lady” pictogram developed by DrinkWise Australia
See also the Independent Brewers Association's Beer labeling guidelines 2018
|Bolivia||Labels of all alcohol beverages must include the warnings: |
“Excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to health”
“Sale prohibited to minors below 18”
|Law 259 of 2012 on Control of Sale and Consumption of Alcohol Beverages|
|Brazil||Labels of beverages of 13%ABV or higher: "Avoid excessive alcohol consumption."||Law N.9.294, 15 July 1996 and Decree No. 2.018 of 1 October 1996||All alcohol beverages including those below 13%ABV: sale and consumption of the product are only for persons older than 18 years. See Conselho Nacional de Autorregulamentação Publicitária, CONAR|
|China||Labels of beverages of above 0.5%ABV are required to include |
"Excessive drinking is harmful to health" or
“Pregnant women and children shall not drink”
|GB10344-2005 General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Alcohol Beverages |
GB 2758-2012 National Food Safety Standards Fermented Alcohol Beverages and their Integrated Alcohol Beverages Art 4.4
|Chinese Taipei||Labels of all alcohol beverages must state "Excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to health" or one of the following:|
1. To be safe, don't drink and drive.
2. Excessive drinking is harmful to you and others.
3. Drinking is prohibited if under 18 years old.
4. Large quantity intake of alcohol product in a short period of time is lethal.
5. Other warnings approved by the central competent authority.
Warnings must be on contrasting background of font size at least 2.65 mm and be placed in a conspicuous place on the container's largest external surface.
|Regulations Governing the Labeling of Alcohol|
|Colombia||The labels of beverages of 2.5%ABV or higher must exhibit on their labeling the warnings ... |
1. “Excessive use of alcohol is harmful to health”. This warning must take up, at a minimum, a tenth of the label’s area, be placed on the front, and be located at the bottom in easily readable font contrasting with the background. …
2. “It is prohibited to sell intoxicating beverages to minors.”
|Ministry of Health and Social Protection Decree 1686 of 9 August 2012|
|Costa Rica||Labels of all beverages of higher than 0.5%ABV must include a cautionary panel with the message "excessive consumption of alcohol beverages is harmful to health" or similar.||Decree No. 38413 of 28 February 2014 Resolution No 332-2013 (COMIECOLXVI) of 12 December 2013 Central American Customs Union Technical Regulations, Alcohol Beverages, Labeling Requirements (annex 1 and 2)|
|Dominican Republic||The packaging of beer and alcohol beverages for national consumption should include the following warning: “Alcohol consumption harms health.” written in easily readable font and in contrasting color.||Law 42-01 General Health Law, Art 123|
|Ecuador||Warnings must be legible, using distinguishable colors: |
Beverages of above 5%ABV: “Warning: The excessive consumption of alcohol limits your capacity to operate machinery and can cause harm to your health and family. Ministry of Health of Ecuador. Sale prohibited to minors below 18 years old.” The warning must occupy at least 10% of the total surface area.
Beverages of 5%ABV and below: “Warning: The excessive consumption of alcohol can cause harm to your health. Ministry of Health of Ecuador.” The warning must occupy at least 6% of the total surface area.
|Decree 1314 of 2000 General Regulation for Natural Law for Consumer Protection|
|El Salvador||Warnings must be legible, using distinguishable colors and occupy 10% of the total surface area. |
“Warning: The excessive consumption of alcohol limits your capacity to operate machinery and can cause harm to your health and family”
“The sale of this product is prohibited for those younger than 18 years old”
|Decree no. 587 Law Regulating the Production and Sale of Alcohol and Alcohol Beverages|
|France||Labels of beverages of above 1.2%ABV must include either the text “Consumption of alcohol beverages during pregnancy, even in small amounts, can have serious consequences for the child’s health.” or a pictogram to that effect. |
The health warning must appear in the same visual field as the obligatory alcohol content indication.
|Order of 2 October 2006 on implementation of Law 2005-102 Public Health Code Article L. 3322-2|
|Germany||Labels of sweetened alcohol beverages (alcopops) of between 1.2%ABV and 10%ABV must display the following warning in the same typeface, size, and color as the brand or trade name or, where there is neither, as the product designation: |
"Sale is prohibited to persons under 18 under § 9 of the Youth Protection Act"
|Youth Protection Act|
|Guatemala||Labels of all alcohol beverages must include “The excess consumption of this product is harmful to the consumer’s health”||Decree 90-97 Art 49|
|Honduras||Labels of all alcohol beverages must include "Warning: Abuse of the beverage harms your health. IHADFA"||Honduran Institute for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction (IHADFA), Accord 03-95 Special Regulation on Alcohol Advertising, Tobacco Products and Other Drugs|
|India||effective April 1, 2019: |
Labels of all beverages of greater than 0.5%ABV shall include the following warning in not less than 3mm size: “Consumption of alcohol is injurious to health. Be safe – don’t drink and drive”. The warning must be in English or in the official state or regional language.
Labels of wines must include a non-vegetarian logo if processing aids of animal origin were used.
|Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), effective April 1, 2019: Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages) Regulations, 2018|
|Indonesia||Labels of alcohol beverages must state "Alcohol beverage" and bear the warning "Those under age 21 and pregnant women should not drink" in Indonesian.||Ministry of Trade Regulation 15/M-DAG/Per/3/2006|
|Ireland||The Minister of Health is empowered to prescribe the content of warnings on the danger of alcohol consumption, the danger of alcohol consumption when pregnant, the direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers, and details of a government website providing public health information in relation to alcohol consumption.||Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018|
|Israel||Labels of beverages of up to 15.5%ABV must include “Warning: Contains alcohol - it is recommended to refrain from excessive consumption”. |
Labels of beverages of 15.5%ABV and higher must include “Warning: Excessive consumption of alcohol is life threatening and is detrimental to health!”
|Regulations limiting the advertising and marketing of alcohol beverages (Health Warning) 30 July 2013|
|Japan||-||-||Displayed in an easy-to-read location on the container, using uniform Japanese font, at least 6 pts in size:
“Be careful not to drink in excess”
“Drink in moderation”
“Drinking alcohol during pregnancy or nursing may adversely affect the development of your fetus or child”
Self-Regulatory Code of Advertisement Practices and Container Labeling for Alcohol Beverages (2016)
|Kenya||Labels of all beverages of 0.5%ABV or higher must include at least two of these health warning messages, on no less than 30% of the total surface area of the package, in English or Kiswahili, and on a rotating basis: |
"Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to your health";
"Excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver cirrhosis";
"Excessive alcohol consumption impairs your judgment";
"Do not drive or operate machinery";
"Not for sale to persons under the age of 18 years".
|Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010, Art 32|
|Korea, Republic of||Labels of beverages of 1%ABV or higher must include one of three warnings: |
Drinking during pregnancy increases the risk for congenital anomaly. Alcohol is [a] carcinogen, so excessive drinking causes liver cancer, gastric adenocarcinoma and so on.
Drinking during pregnancy, underage drinking, and excessive drinking cause congenital anomaly, brain development disruptions and cancer, respectively.
Drinking during pregnancy increase[s] the risk for congenital anomaly, Excessive drinking cause[s] stroke, memory loss and dementia.
|National Health Promotion Act |
Enforcement Decree of the National Health Promotion Act
Ministry of Health and Welfare Notice No. 2016-488 Administrative Notice of Proposed Partial Amendment to Notification on Phrase of Warning against Smoking and Excessive Drinking, etc.
|Lithuania||Labels of distilled beverages of 1.2%ABV or higher and fermented beverages of 0.5% or higher are required to include a pictogram warning of the potential effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.||Alcohol Control Law Article 9|
|Malaysia||Labels of beverages of 2%ABV or higher must include, in a non-serif font of not less than 12 pt size, the words ‘MEMINUM ARAK BOLEH MEMBAHAYAKAN KESIHATAN’ ('Alcohol can harm health')||Food (Amendment) Regulations (2016)|
|Mauritius||All alcohol beverages shall bear a label both in English and French indicating that an excessive consumption of alcohol drinks causes serious health, social and domestic problems.||Government notice No.1 of 2009 Public Health (Prohibition on Advertisement, Sponsorship and Restriction on Sale and Consumption in Public Places, of Alcoholic Drinks) Regulations 2008|
|Mexico||Labels of alcohol beverages of 2.0% to 55%ABV must include "The abuse of the consumption of this product is harmful to health." The warning must be in uppercase and in a contrasting color. The required size of lettering varies by beverage ABV. |
Labels of alcohol beverages of higher than 6.0%ABV: Of three pictogram warnings (against consumption by minors aged under 18 and by pregnant women and against driving under the influence of alcohol),
either all three must be included simultaneously,
or a single one may be included in which case the pictogram chosen must be changed on a rotating principle every four months.
Labels of alcohol beverages with of 2.0-6.0%ABV must display a modified pictogram warning against consumption by minors aged under 18.
Labels of alcohol beverages of below 2.0% ABV must include “This product contains % of alcohol. Not recommended for children.”
Labels may voluntarily include the statement "For more information visit the page: www.conadic.salud.gob.mx, where there is information on the harmful use of alcohol".
|Mexican Official Standard NOM-142-SSA1 / SCFI-2014 Alcohol beverages, Sanitary specifications, Sanitary and commercial labeling, 9.7.2 |
Regulation on Sanitary Control of Products and Services, Appendix
See explanatory illustrations.
|Moldova||Labels of beverages of 1.5%ABV or higher must include an 18+ symbol and a symbol recommending abstinence during pregnancy||Law 1100 of 30.06.2000 On the manufacture and turnover of ethyl alcohol and alcohol beverages|
|Mozambique||Labels of all alcohol beverages must contain the following phrase in upper case, easily readable letters: "Sale to and consumption by persons under 18 years of age is prohibited."||Decree No 54/2013 Regulation on the control of the production, marketing and consumption of alcohol beverages|
|New Zealand||[pending introduction of warning on drinking during pregnancy]||Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation Communiqué 11 October 2018|
|Nicaragua||Labels of all beverages of higher than 0.5%ABV must include a cautionary panel with the message "excessive consumption of alcohol beverages is harmful to health" or similar.||Official Gazette No.163 of 28 August 2014 transposing Central American Technical Regulation RTCA 67.01.05:11 Alcoholic Beverages Labeling Requirements|
|Peru||Labels of all fermented and distilled beverages must contain, on an area no smaller than 10% of the packaging, in easily readable capital letters, the phrase “Excessive drinking of alcohol beverages is harmful.”||Law 28681 Regulating the Marketing, Consumption and Advertising of Alcohol Beverages 2006|
|Russian Federation||Labels of wine and spirits, including vodka, must contain the message “Alcohol is not for children and teenagers up to age 18, pregnant and nursing women, or for persons with diseases of the central nervous system, kidneys, liver, and other digestive organs.”||Ministry of Health Decree No. 49 of 19 January 2007|
|Slovenia||Labels of foodstuff containing alcohol (not alcohol beverages) must include a warning that they are not suitable for children, printed in capital letters that are clearly visible, readable and are a distinctly different color from the background.||Act Restricting the Use of Alcohol 2003 Art 6|
|South Africa||(1) Container labels for alcohol beverages must contain at least one of the [seven] health messages, which must be in black on a white background, visible, legible, and indelible and must be at least one eight of the total size of the container label:|
“Alcohol abuse is dangerous to your health”
“Alcohol is addictive”
“Alcohol increases your risk to personal injuries”
“Alcohol is a major cause of violence and crime”
“Drinking during pregnancy can be harmful to your unborn baby”
“Don’t drink and walk on the road, you may be killed”
“Alcohol reduces driving ability, don’t drink and drive”
|Regulations Relating to Health Messages on Container Labels of Alcoholic Beverages, 24 August 2007 for the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act 1972|
|Thailand||Warning pictures and messages for disadvantages or dangers of alcohol beverages shall be made in pictures with 4 colors …, provided that each form shall be used for 1,000 containers, of size no less than 50% for square and 40% for cylindrical containers of the total container:|
“Liquor drinking may cause cirrhosis and sexual impotency”
“Liquor drinking may cause less consciousness and death”
“Liquor drinking is dangerous to health and causes less consciousness”
“Liquor drinking is harmful to you and destroys your family”
“Drunk driving may cause disability or death”
|Alcohol Beverage Control Act B.E. 2551 (2008)|
|Togo||Packaging of alcohol beverages must bear the warning "seriously damages health" and the ABV of the beverage.||Law 2009-007 Health Code Art 91|
|Turkey||Labels of all alcohol beverages must include the text "Alcohol is not your friend." and three pictograms: against drinking by minors aged below 18, against drinking by pregnant women, and against driving under the influence of alcohol.||Tobacco and Alcohol Regulatory Authority, Communique on warning messages to be affixed on the packaging of alcoholic beverages per Law No. 6487 of 11/06/2013|
|Turkmenistan||Effective 1 July 2019:|
Labels of beverages of 1.5%ABV or higher must include warnings that take up 20% or more of the area in Turkmen and Russian or English: “Alcohol beverages harm your health!” , “Alcohol beverages are contraindicated for those below age 21, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and those with diseases of the central nervous system diseases, kidneys, liver, and other digestive organs.”
Labels of low-alcohol beverages (up to 7%ABV) must include a statement on the recommended dose of not more than a single package per day. A single consumer package may not exceed 330 mL.
|Law on Prevention of the Harmful Impact of Alcohol 2018 Art 14, 15|
|United Kingdom||-||-||The Department of Health Guidance: Communicating the UK Chief Medical Officers' low risk drinking guidelines 2017 recommends the following messages:
-The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend adults do not regularly drink more than 14 units per week.
-It is safest not to drink alcohol when pregnant, or symbol to that effect
See also The Portman Group's Communicating alcohol and health-related information (September 2017) and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) initiative on labeling (2017)
|United States||The health warning statement must appear on the brand label or separate front label, or on a back or side label, separate and apart from all other information. It must be readily legible under ordinary conditions, and must appear on a contrasting background. Labels bearing the warning must be firmly affixed to the container. Minimum type size is specified for containers of various sizes. |
“GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems”
|Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Part 16 – Alcoholic Beverage Health Warning Statement, § 16.21 Mandatory Label Information|
|Uzbekistan||Labels of all alcohol beverages of greater than 1.5% ABV must include the following warning, occupying not less than 40% of the label area: |
"The excessive consumption of alcohol beverages leads to severe diseases of the human nervous system and internal organs.”
The content of the warning shall be reviewed every five years.
|Law 302 On restriction of Distribution and Taking of Alcohol and Tobacco Products and Ministry of Health Regulation No. 311 of 17 November 2011|
|Zimbabwe||Labels of all alcohol beverages of 0.2%ABV or higher must bear two warnings: |
"Alcohol may be hazardous to health if consumed to excess, the operation of machinery or driving after the consumption of alcohol is not advisable."
"Not for sale to persons under the age of 18 years."
|Statutory Instrument 25 of 2001 Food and Food Standards (Alcoholic Beverages) Regulations|