Bottles and cans of alcoholic drinks will carry health warnings on their labels next year, a health minister said Monday.

The Health Ministry and the drinks industry struck a voluntary agreement that will lead - by the end of 2008 - to labels detailing how many units of alcohol each drink contains and recommended safe drinking levels for men and women.

Public Health Minister Caroline Flint did not reveal the exact wording to be used on the labels, but said the warnings will not be as strong as those found on cigarette packets.

In recent years, binge drinking among young adults has been growing in Britain. Official figures released last week showed that alcohol-related deaths have more than doubled in men since 1993.

Most labels on alcoholic drinks sold now in Britain do carry unit information, but Flint said the new measures will make it easier to stick to the recommended limits.

"We want to make it as simple as possible for people to keep an eye on how much they are drinking and help them take the responsibility for lessening the impact excess alcohol can have on their health," she said.

Although most people were aware of recommended daily guidelines, only 13 percent kept a check on the number of units they drank, the Health Ministry said. It said during a public consultation, 75 percent of those asked backed the new move.

Officials said more than 7 million Britons drink more than the recommended daily amounts_ three to four units for men and two to three units for women.

A small glass of wine, half a pint of beer or one measure of spirits are often taken as being one unit. But this can vary depending on the strength of the drink.

"This is yet another practical demonstration of retailers' responsible attitude to selling alcohol," said British Retail Consortium Director General Kevin Hawkins.

"They have been actively involved in the development of this label and the concise and simple way it sets out information gives consumers an easy way to make informed decisions about how they enjoy alcohol."