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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 10:52 GMT
Campaign targets student drinkers
Students in bar
Bar mats will give student drinkers safety tips
A nationwide campaign is being launched to warn more than a million students of the dangers of excessive alcohol.

The drive, headed by the National Union of Students (NUS) in conjunction with the drinks company Diageo, aims to promote sensible drinking.

The union will place beer mats and stickers in student bars giving young people tips on how to keep their drinking within reasonable limits.

It comes as the Home Office launches a crackdown on binge drinking.

Tips appearing on the beer mats include having something to eat while drinking, having soft drinks in between alcoholic ones and drinking plenty of water.

'Informative' beer mats

NUS spokesman Nick Emms told BBC News the traditional image of the hard-drinking student was "no more" with 25% of them not drinking at all.

He said students were much more interested in their own health and fitness than they had been in the past.

We want people to enjoy student life as well but we want to make sure they do so responsibly and that's our commitment
Nick Emms

He said: "We want people to enjoy student life as well but we want to make sure they do so responsibly and that's our commitment."

"It's important that we demonstrate a commitment to responsible retailing," he added.

Mr Emms said students would appreciate the informative tone of the campaign, which would not sound "preachy" or "lecturing".

He said: "Not everybody understands necessarily how many units represents sensible safe drinking on a daily basis."

The campaign also aims to make people more aware of the contents of different products, he said.

The government binge drinking crackdown includes a graphic poster campaign warning of 80 on-the-spot fines for being drunk and disorderly.

Posters warn "get drunk and disorderly, get arrested, get an 80 fine", with one spelling out 80 in vomit.

There will also be a crackdown on under-age drinking and problem bars.

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