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Increase alcohol prices says report.

Increase alcohol prices says report.

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Introducing a minimum unit price on alcohol could save the NHS millions in Wales claims a new report.

Commissioned by the Welsh Government and Sheffield University, the ‘Research of the likely impact of public attitudes towards a minimum unit price for alcohol in wales’ concludes that introducing a minimum unit price of 50p per unit would save the Welsh economy £882m over a 20 year period.

It also highlights the impact that a minimum unit price would have on alcohol-related deaths, hospital admissions and crime.

Professor Sir Iain Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Healthcare Alliance UK (AHA), said: “International evidence demonstrates that a minimum unit price of 50 pence per unit is an effective and targeted measure which will reduce alcohol consumption without affecting moderate drinkers.”

“ The AHA has consistently campaigned for the introduction of this policy and the decision by the Welsh Government for plans to introduce minimum unit pricing is highly welcome.”

The AHA also recommends that tax on alcoholic products should be proportionate to the volume of alcohol contained to encourage the sale of low-strength products.

Sir Gilmore said: “At a time when the NHS and public services are straining under pressure from alcohol misuse, and when a can of lager can be sold cheaper than a bottle of water, it’s time to take action; we simply cannot afford to continue like this”.

 

 

 

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Comments

The argument, from the alcohol industry, is that it is free choice what people drink. Educating people about the harm of over consumption when they are using the public services, and the cost, would change behaviour. If someone attends casualty drunk then a letter with advice, copied to the GP, could be sent so when they next attend it can be discussed. The police could hold re-education classes like they do for speeding with the help of a health worker to remind people about safe consumption. The public acceptance of high consumption with the public shame of addiction means people do not seek help soon enough. When they do seek help the services available are woefully lacking. There is a common misconception that alcoholics are lost causes because of relapses, and you are only an alcoholic if you drink more than your doctor! The discovery of the alcoholic gene which may predispose people to excessive consumption will alter our perceptions and treatment options.
Raising the price of alcohol only works if it is so high no-one can afford it, as in Scandinavia, would then be challenged by sensible users. Prohibition only served to make the Mafia rich!

MP's could set an example by closing all the bars in the House of Commons because who needs to drink alcohol in their workplace?

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