Greeting Cards Can Be Harmful To Your Health

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Greeting Cards Can Be Harmful To Your Health
Greeting Cards Can Be Harmful To Your Health
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Greeting cards can be harmful to your health

Scientists are concerned that many greeting cards contain references to alcohol, influence perceptions of drinking, and support the perception of it as a social norm.

Greeting cards can be harmful to your health
Greeting cards can be harmful to your health

The world's first Christmas card by Henry Cole. Photo: Wikimedia Commons /

Christmas cards featuring alcohol "reflect and support the public opinion that excessive drinking is acceptable and related to the celebration." The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports.

Tracey Polak, deputy director of health at the Devon County Council, says Christmas and other greeting cards "influence the perception of drinking and support the perception of drinking as a social norm."

The authors of the study cite postcard phrases like “let's get drunk” printed on images of definitely people who in certain cases look definitely drunk, “surrounded by empty bottles, drinking from a bottle, and sometimes just unconscious”.

Of course, many Christmas cards don't have Santa Claus with a beer, and not all birthday cards contain alcohol jokes.

It is believed that entrepreneur Henry Cole was the first to popularize the distribution of pre-made postage Christmas cards in England. His first postcard depicted drinking people. In 1980, analysis showed for the first time that postcards popularized alcohol consumption as a desirable and safe norm for celebration.

The scientists noted that some of the responsibility lies with the buyers. "Perhaps the next time you buy a postcard, you should consider whether it contains the message you want to convey."

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