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alcohol health alliance uk

Don't sacrifice 1,000 lives for the sake of 5p

Posted 28/11/12

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “This consultation is a real opportunity to make significant progress in tackling alcohol misuse, as long as we set a minimum unit price of at least 50p.”

Research carried out by the University of Sheffield shows that after ten years, every year in England a minimum 50p per unit will:

“As with anything, with minimum unit price you get what you pay for. Setting the price lower than 50p will realise fewer benefits. For instance, under a minimum 45p per unit we stand to save 2,288 lives – that’s more than a thousand fewer lives than a minimum 50p per unit. Do we really value life so cheaply that we’d sacrifice a thousand lives for the sake of 5p extra per unit?

“We know minimum unit price works. It has reduced consumption in Canada, which predicts success here. Targeted at helping the vulnerable, research suggests a minimum 50p per unit would reduce consumption by harmful drinkers by 10% and young people by 7%. At the same time, moderate drinkers would pay just 28p extra a week on alcohol for these benefits.

“Importantly, a minimum unit price is backed by a majority of north easterners, as well as those concerned about our health and wellbeing, including eight in 10 regional GPs. Not only that, but a significant proportion of the alcohol industry itself wants a minimum unit price, including seven in 10 north east publicans.”

Visit www.balancenortheast.co.uk/mup to find out about Balance’s campaign to raise understanding of, and support for, a minimum unit price of at least 50p per unit.