A phone app which illustrates the impact alcohol has on personal appearance aims to “shock people into drinking just a little bit less”, its creator has said.
The Drinking Time Machine app, part of the Scottish Government’s alcohol behaviour campaign, shows users how drink can speed up the ageing process.
Consuming alcohol can give people poor skin, brittle nails and hair, disrupted sleep and poor mental health. More serious problems can be caused long term, such as chronic liver disease, with one in 30 female deaths in Scotland linked to alcohol.
The app is available for free throughout February.
Its designer Auriole Price said: “Working with the Scottish Government to launch the first-ever app will help to show people how they will look if they drink too much alcohol. The main aim of the app is to shock people into drinking just a little bit less.
“We are appealing to people’s vanity as the effects of alcohol can include red broken veins on the cheeks, bloodshot eyes, a bloated face and deeper wrinkles.”
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “With Scots drinking more than (people in) any other part of the UK, this campaign aims to encourage adults in Scotland, particularly women, to recognise how much they are actually drinking and to help them make small changes to the way they drink, which can improve their health and well-being.”
On Tuesday, the day the alcohol behaviour campaign is launched, Ms Sturgeon will head to Brussels to discuss the Scottish Government’s plans for minimum unit pricing with the European Commission for Health John Dalli and Scottish MEPs.
She said: “Whilst encouraging people to make better choices about their alcohol consumption are important, I still believe there is more that can be done and that is why I will continue to press the case for minimum pricing.
“Doctors, nurses, the police, academics and politicians, as well as growing numbers of the general population, have now recognised the harm that alcohol is doing to our communities and the benefit minimum pricing will bring: saving lives and reducing crime.”
The Drinking Time Machine app is available for free at www.drinksmarter.org throughout February (though it only seems to be available on the iPhone)