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alcohol health alliance uk

Balance responds to new alcohol-related death figures

Posted 26/01/12

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “This morning’s report (Thursday, January 26) is further proof that alcohol misuse ends lives in the North East and that more needs to be done.

“Once again our region tops the tables and we’ve seen an astonishing leap in alcohol related deaths over the last two decades.”

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics today reveal that since 1991, the rate of male deaths in North East has increased 160% compared to a national increase of 94%. It shows the rate of female deaths across the region has reduced slightly in the past 12 months but the rate has still increased 149% in the last 21 years, compared to a national increase of 67%.

Colin added: “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 also 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. On behalf of the North East, and the rest of the UK, we would urge him to continue his investigations as a matter of priority.”

Balance is calling on North Easterners to back its campaign to restrict alcohol marketing by signing a petition to Government at

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Notes to editors

Research carried out by the Office for National Statistics and published in today’s Alcohol-related Deaths in the UK 2010 report reveal that: