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Responsible Drinking

Scotch Whisky Glasses
Like any other form of alcohol, Scotch Whisky should be consumed in moderation. When consumed responsibly by adults, alcohol can be part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle and play a positive role in social occasions and celebrations.

Enjoy Scotch Responsibly

Scotch Whisky producers are proud of their whiskies. They would like you to enjoy it by drinking it responsibly.

The misuse of alcohol can cause serious problems for individuals, communities, and society. Alcohol has the potential to damage health in a number of ways, including increased risk of liver disease, heart problems and mental health issues.

Low-risk drinking guidelines vary across the countries in which Scotch is consumed but, for example,  the UK’s Chief Medical Officers recommend that both men and women consume no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. That is 14 single measures of Scotch Whisky.

In addition, you should:

  • Never drink and drive
  • Never consume alcohol while operating heavy machinery
  • Never consume alcohol while pregnant
  • Never drink under the legal purchase age, or attempt to purchase alcohol for minors

group of people drinking scotch


If you would like more information about drinking responsibly, you may want to see the guidance provided by Drinkaware.

This independent charity raises awareness of alcohol and its harms, among others by providing impartial, evidence-based information, advice and practical resources.

Social Responsibility

The Scotch Whisky Association and our members care passionately about reducing alcohol-related harm through our own programmes in the Scotch Whisky Action Fund and through partnership and collaboration with others.

Distillers want consumers to enjoy Scotch Whisky responsibly and reduce harm from irresponsible drinking. That is why the Scotch Whisky industry plays its part in tackling alcohol misuse by promoting responsible consumption, education, responsible marketing and partnership working with governments.

Scotch Whisky Action Fund Logo

All our Member Companies are required to include responsibility statements on all advertising. Brands offer additional information on the label as well online and many companies support their own responsible drinking initiatives.

Responsible Marketing

The Scotch Whisky industry takes very seriously its commitment to marketing its products to consumers in a responsible way. The industry has developed a Code of Practice setting out minimum standards for the marketing and promotion of Scotch Whisky brands in the UK and abroad.

Responsible Drinking news & commentary

01 April 2021

Scotch Whisky Industry Sets Out Manifesto Ahead of Scottish Parliament Election

The Scotch Whisky industry has launched its manifesto for the Scottish Elections on 6th May.

29 July 2020

Commitment to Responsibility: SWA publishes revised Industry Marketing Code

The SWA has published the latest edition of its Code of Practice for Responsible Marketing.

11 June 2020

SWA welcomes re-start date for Scottish tourism

The Scottish government has announced that Scottish tourism businesses can prepare to re-open from 15th July.

26 February 2020

Industry action to help reduce alcohol harm is showcased at Holyrood event

The Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP) held an event at the Scottish Parliament this week, sponsored by Miles Briggs MSP, and aimed at showcasing how the industry is tackling alcohol harm.

14 November 2019

Scotch Whisky Action Fund Commits Support to Six New Projects in Scotland

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund has announced the six projects across Scotland that it will be supporting in the coming year.

23 October 2019

Organisations come together for Scotch Whisky Action Fund learning event

The SWA has this week hosted a learning event featuring projects that received support from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund, which aims to tackle the effects of alcohol misuse.

22 August 2019

Scotch Whisky Action Fund pledges further support for innovative projects

The Scotch Whisky Action Fund, set up in 2013, has pledged a further year's support for two projects that each received funding in 2018: Bright Light's Families in Recovery, and Waverley Care's SX initiative.

05 April 2019

SWA extends commitment to tackling alcohol misuse

Scotch Whisky Action Fund to deliver £1 million of funding over 10 years

24 July 2017

MUP appeal

Responsible Drinking publications

14 January 2021

Scotch Whisky Action Fund: 5 year Impact Report

Read more about the Scotch Whisky Action Fund's first five years.

27 July 2020

Matured to be Enjoyed Responsibly - latest edition (July 2020)

This latest report is a snapshot of the activities being undertaken by the SWA and member companies to promote responsible consumption of alcohol, and supporting initiatives to tackle misuse.

07 July 2020

Code of Practice: 4th Edition

The Code of Practice covers all commercial communications by members. This includes advertising, promotional materials and sponsorship. The 4th edition was published in July 2020.