Shocking images of diseased livers should be put on bottles of alcohol to warn people of the dangers of binge drinking, claim doctors.
They are calling for pictures of the harm caused by excess alcohol which would be similar to those planned for cigarette packets by the end of the year.
Graphic images that could include babies damaged by foetal alcohol syndrome should also go on posters in bars and pubs, said doctors attending the British Medical Association's annual conference in Edinburgh.Binge drinking: Doctors want to target teenagers who think drinking excess alcohol is acceptable
Doctors also want soft drinks to become 'significantly cheaper' than alcohol, and labels showing alcohol units per drink to be a mandatory requirement on bottles and bar taps.
Dr Raj Nirula, a urologist at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, said alcohol consumption had apparently doubled since 1960, leading to more hospital admissions and associated crime.
Alcohol misuse costs the nation around £7.3 billion in crime and antisocial behaviour, while drinking alcohol is a factor in more than half of violent crimes.
Dr Nirula said the UK should lead the way in putting images on cans, bottles and posters.
He said: 'They should be in pubs and on bottles, on every single drink. Excessive alcohol causes cirrhosis of the liver and leads to a higher incidence of cancer.Doctors say alcoholic drinks should carry warnings
'I think we have to take the lead. We are talking about alcohol misuse in society, this is becoming an epidemic.
'We have to start form an early age, to target teenagers - they are the ones getting into the culture.
'If one youngster does not drink they get asked "Why are you not drinking?"
'Binge-drinking is becoming the norm.'
Dr Nirula said adverts at Christmas time showing accidents caused by drinking made people think.
'We should use graphic images so that people are more aware of the dangers of drinking,' he added.
The Government has reached an agreement with the drinks industry to include health and unit information on most alcohol labels by the end of 2008, as well as reworded advice for women on alcohol and pregnancy.
Don Shenker, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, said the issue of shocking images on drink bottles should be debated.
'But the question is of degrees. It’s right that we do more to remind people of the health risks they face from drinking heavily but we also need to avoid alienating people with imagery or language that doesn’t necessarily chime with their experience of drinking.
'For that reason we support the incorporation of clear, factual health advice on labels.'
A BMA report earlier this year concluded that greater restrictions are needed on access to alcohol, along with higher taxes.
It demanded that supermarkets stop treating alcohol like any other commodity, running loss-leaders and 2 for 1 deals that fuel the binge-drinking culture.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: 'Tackling the culture of harmful binge-drinking is a priority for Government and we are working with the alcohol industry and other stakeholders to implement a comprehensive strategy to tackle it.
'Shortly, we will be reporting results of the independent reviews on alcohol price and promotion, and the industry's own social responsibility standards and are committed to considering the need for any future legislation in the light of these.
'In May, we launched the Know Your Limits unit awareness campaign and the Home Office have launched a new campaign targeting 18-24 drinkers, challenging public acceptability of drunkenness and binge-drinking.'