A GLASGOW addiction specialist is urging Scots to boycott booze-related novelty Christmas gifts specifically targeted at women.

Professor Carol Emslie has raised concerns about the vast explosion of gifts aimed at daughters, sisters, mums and friends that link alcohol with female “friendships, feminism and empowerment.”

She says people need to, “take a serious look at what we are saying to loved ones” by buying products such as cushions emblazoned with, ‘Oh come let us adore gin’ to ‘Ho Ho Ho Pass the Prosecco.’

Evening Times:

Professor Emslie, who leads Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Substance Use and Misuse research group, has joined forces with Alcohol Focus Scotland to launch a social media campaign #dontpinkmydrink, which has also been backed by Scottish politicians.

The charity says the alcohol industry has long targeted women, with phrases ushc as ‘Wine O’Clock’ but had reached ‘new levels’ with the promotion of Prosecco, pink gin and skinny lager.

The National Records for Scotland figures show there were 1,235 alcohol-related deaths in 2017 - 854 were men and 381 were women. Despite a significant drop in alcohol-related deaths since 2001, death rates are still higher in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.

Evening Times:

Professor Emslie said: “There’s been a huge explosion in gimmicky alcohol-themed gifts for women this Christmas.

“It’s time to take a serious look at what we’re actually saying to our loved ones by buying these gifts. The people who sell them are doing the job for alcohol companies by promoting alcohol-themed gifts and cards to women. Women’s empowerment and progress will always be secondary to profits for these companies.”

Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon has put forward a motion, backed by another nine MSPs, in the Scottish Parliament in support of Professor Emslie’s campaign.

Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said: “Whether we are shopping for cards, homeware or sportswear, nowhere is safe from gimmicky products that encourage us to reward ourselves with a drink or link alcohol with female friendships and empowerment.

"The #dontpinkmydrink campaign is a positive way for us to call out alcohol producers and retailers and tell them we won’t endorse their products.”