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Consumer Information

Consumer Information

Alcohol has been welcomed throughout the ages and plays an important role in social activities in many countries and cultures. However, when misused, alcohol can seriously harm both individual and society. Therefore, we at TBAF encourage alcohol beverage companies to provide the best possible information to ensure that the consumer makes informed choices about consuming alcohol. We also support these companies in providing calorie, allergen, alcohol content, standard unit labeling and responsible drinking reminders on product labels to ensure that the consumer knows the risks involved. When taking medication, if pregnant, or underage, consumers should not drink. Similarly, if working at heights, driving or operating machinery consumers should abstain from taking alcohol, as should those with a history of alcohol dependence.

What makes a drink alcoholic?

Alcohol, also called ethanol, is produced from sugar or starch contained in fruits, vegetables, grains and plants by a process called fermentation. For example:

The distillation process purifies the alcohol obtained through fermentation and then through condensation transforms it into a spirit, such as whisky, gin, grappa, vodka, brandy and rum with about 40% or more alcohol.

Enjoy drinking and plan in advance for a safe trip home.
There are many ways to get safely home after you enjoy drinking with friends. Decide in advance who is not going to drink alcohol and designate them as responsible for getting others home safely. --Check the departure time of the last bus and train if public transport is available. Have enough money and the telephone number of reliable taxi company with you. Alternatively, ask if you can stay the night at a friend’s home. It’s not worth driving home after a night out drinking. You not only risk your live, but that of others too, not to mention your driver’s license, substantial fines and prison.

How we react after drinking alcohol?
Just a drink or two containing alcohol can slow down your reaction time and warp judgment, behavior, personality and perception. That is why we advise not to drive or work at heights even after just one drink. Excessive drinking can even put you into a situation that you don’t want to be in, like getting into violent behavior, getting into arguments, having unsafe sex or sex you will later regret.

Sometimes I get a hangover --but not always and some people never get hangovers—why?!
Dark or colored liquors such as brandy, wine, tequila, whiskey and other liquors containing congeners tend to produce severe hangovers, whereas clear liquors such as white rum, vodka, and gin cause hangovers less frequently. Drinking a large quantity of alcohol is not solely related to a hangover. Other factors play a part, including ethanol, dehydration, an empty stomach, mixing different type of drinks and lack of sleep.

Is the market for alcohol in China now larger than in Taiwan?
The China Marketing Research Association (CMRA) estimates the alcohol sales volume in China to be approximately RMB200 billion a year in 2007. In comparison to China, the alcohol sales volume in Taiwan reached NT$90 billions (equivalent to RMB20 billion) in the same year. Nevertheless, Taiwan is one of six key markets for imported Scottish whisky after the United States, France, Spain, Korea and Venezuela. We imported 6.4 billions worth of Scottish whisky last year.

Is it true that people appear more attractive after you consume a little alcohol?
People do look more attractive to each other after consuming alcohol. Researchers have proved “beer goggles” really do work. According to Dr. Marcus Munafo, an experimental psychologist who led a study at Bristol University in England: “These findings are important because of the role drink plays in, for example, unsafe sex.” In the study, volunteers were randomly given a glass of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. After half an hour, both groups were asked to rate the attractiveness of 20 male and 20 female faces on a seven-point scale. Those who had been drinking scored 10% higher than the non-alcoholic drinkers. The next day, the men who drank alcohol still gave a higher rating than those who had not. “The main question is whether these effects are specific to faces, or whether we would rate anything as more attractive after a drink,” Munafo said.

Is there such a thing as an alcohol allergy?
Allergies to alcohol are rare but some people do experience unpleasant side effects from drinking alcohol. These unpleasant reactions are not typically allergy-like, but may be more related to food allergies or alcohol intolerance. You could be allergic to ingredients in alcohol, such as various grains in beer, grapes in wine, yeast or other substances added during production, such as sulfur dioxide. For example, gluten is found in malted barley which is used to make beer. Some beer also contains wheat. In addition, aged cheese and wine are high in histamines, the same chemical which is involved in a number of allergic reactions. Many Asians experience facial flushing after alcohol, even in very small amounts. The reaction is caused by a genetic disorder in which the body is unable to break down alcohol completely. Some people may even have an alcohol intolerance, which means you are more sensitive to alcohol and have reactions such as rapid heartbeat, vomiting, nasal congestion and skin rashes.

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