Alcohol is toxic to human health. In addition to providing nutritional information, labels on alcohol products can be used to communicate warnings on alcohol-related harms to consumers. This scoping review examined novel or enhanced health warning labels to assess the current state of the research and the key studied characteristics of labels, along with their impact on the studied outcomes. Four databases (Web of Science, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, CINAHL) were searched between January 2010 and April 2021, and 27 papers were included in the review. The results found that most studies were undertaken in English-speaking populations, with the majority conducted online or in the laboratory setting as opposed to the real world. Seventy percent of the papers included at least one cancer-related message, in most instances referring either to cancer in general or to bowel cancer. Evidence from the only real-world long-term labelling intervention demonstrated that alcohol health warning labels designed to be visible and contain novel and specific information have the potential to be part of an effective labelling strategy. Alcohol health warning labels should be seen as tools to raise awareness on alcohol-related risks, being part of wider alcohol policy approaches.
- health warning labels