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alcohol health alliance uk

8,790 new reasons to stop the UK drinking itself to death

Today the Office for National Statistics published research on alcohol related deaths in the UK during 2010.

It revealed that 8,790 people died due to a range of conditions including chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. That’s 8,790 families missing a son or a daughter, a husband of wife, a mother or a father, a brother or a sister because a loved one drank too much.

As usual, the North East and North West of England bear the brunt – with higher rates of death than any other English region and we’ve had enough.

We’ve seen an astonishing leap in alcohol related deaths over the last two decades. For instance, yesterday’s figures reveal that since 1991, the rate of male deaths in North East has increased by 160% compared to a national increase of 94%.

People are dying because alcohol is way too cheap.

They’re dying because alcohol is available on nearly every street corner at all hours of the day and night.

They’re dying because alcohol is far too heavily promoted. The alcohol industry spends something like £800m a year on marketing which is having a huge impact on recruiting the next generation of problem drinkers from amongst our children.

We need to turn back the rising tide of alcohol related deaths by introducing a range of measures which include greater restrictions on alcohol marketing and a minimum price per unit of alcohol.

David Cameron has already signalled his interest in a minimum price - a move that we, as organisations responsible for reducing alcohol consumption in our respective regions, applaud. On behalf of the North East, the North West and the rest of the UK, we would urge him to continue his investigations as a matter of priority.

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