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


Trying again, I’m struck by how Canada’s method 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 referred to as standard shops. Again then, the L.C.B.O. took the “management” a part of its title severely. Its older shops did every thing potential to make folks keep away from them. Other than some dusty show bottles of chosen wines, the entire merchandise was hidden away behind a counter. Clients needed to get hold of what they wished to purchase on lists of every thing within the retailer that had been behind glass panels, and write down the product’s title, model quantity (Mateus rosé was 1086 B) and value. Then customers 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 had been generally lower than pleasant. We had been additionally repeatedly reminded to not give suggestions or recommendation to prospects — they had been strictly on their very own.

However, conversely, smoking in places of work and outlets, 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 might be hidden away in shops behind clean cupboards, and so they are available in generic, government-mandated packaging with grotesque photographs 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. right now, management has been dislodged by aggressive advertising and promotion. Lots of its shops are well designed, with engaging wood shelving and lighting just like what you may discover in a expensive clothes boutique. The board produces a free shiny journal about drinks, and meals to serve with them, and presents prospects airline loyalty factors and reductions.

It’s not alone. After 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 terms of pleasing design, attractiveness and product promotion and discounting.

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