Pushing Alcohol While Health Experts Say Risk-Free Drinking Is a Myth


Trying again, I’m struck by how Canada’s strategy to alcohol and cigarettes has virtually reversed since I used to be a scholar again within the late Seventies.

At the moment, I labored part-time within the final of what the Liquor Management Board of Ontario known as standard shops. Again then, the L.C.B.O. took the “management” a part of its identify critically. Its older shops did all the things potential to make folks keep away from them. Apart from some dusty show bottles of chosen wines, the entire merchandise was hidden away behind a counter. Prospects needed to get hold of what they needed to purchase on lists of all the things within the retailer that have been behind glass panels, and write down the product’s identify, model quantity (Mateus rosé was 1086 B) and value. Then consumers handed their slips to a cashier who, after receiving fee, turned it over to a clerk like me who fetched and bagged the products.

I need to confess that my colleagues and I have been generally lower than pleasant. We have been additionally repeatedly reminded to not give suggestions or recommendation to prospects — they have been strictly on their very own.

However, conversely, smoking in workplaces and retailers, together with L.C.B.O. shops, was rampant at the moment. Cigarette makers sponsored sports activities and cultural occasions, and their advertisements and merchandise dominated nook shops and even some pharmacies.

Now it’s cigarettes which are hidden away in shops behind clean cupboards, and so they are available in generic, government-mandated packaging with grotesque images of tobacco’s well being results. All types of promoting by the tobacco promoting are a distant reminiscence.

In distinction, on the L.C.B.O. as we speak, management has been dislodged by aggressive advertising and marketing and promotion. Lots of its shops are neatly designed, with engaging picket shelving and lighting just like what you would possibly discover in a expensive clothes boutique. The board produces a free shiny journal about drinks, and meals to serve with them, and gives prospects airline loyalty factors and reductions.

It’s not alone. Once I cross the river to Gatineau, Quebec, the provincially owned Société des alcools du Québec shops appear to be in a contest with their Ontario counterparts in relation to pleasing design, attractiveness and product promotion and discounting.


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