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alcohol health alliance uk

Study reveals level of alcohol sales per adult in the North East

Posted 07/01/15

The North East has the second highest level of alcohol sales per adult in England, according to a pioneering study, led by NHS Health Scotland, published today in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

The study reveals that those regions with higher sales per adult typically had higher rates of alcohol-related deaths.

The North East continues to suffer from some of the highest rates of alcohol health harms with the second highest rate of alcohol-specific mortality for both males and females.
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “In terms of alcohol consumption, this report actually underestimates the scale of the problem. When you take into account that one in four North Easterners say they don’t drink – these figures suggest that those who do are drinking on average more than the weekly limit for a man, which puts them at increased risk of a range of health conditions including mouth, breast and liver cancer. This puts paid to the alcohol industry myth that alcohol problems are caused by a minority of heavy drinkers.
“Importantly, the study links the sale of alcohol with alcohol-related deaths and points to the irreducible truth that to save lives, we must reduce sales of alcohol. Alcohol is selling so well because it is too cheap, too available and too heavily promoted. Today’s statistics are further evidence that a minimum unit price for alcohol is needed.
“We know that the more affordable alcohol is, the more people consume. A minimum unit price of at least 50p will make cheap, strong alcohol less affordable to the vulnerable, younger and heavier drinkers who are more likely to drink it and suffer the consequences. Yet, it will have no effect on the price of a pint in a community pub.”
The research, which analysed alcohol sales data across 11 regions in England, Scotland and Wales, revealed the North East had the third highest rates of alcohol sales per adult across Great Britain in 2010/11. It found: