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Alcohol and cancer research shows need for minimum unit pricing for alcohol

Many people may assume that by applying sun cream and not smoking, they are doing enough to reduce their chance of getting cancer. These measures are of course hugely important, yet many people do not know how alcohol increases their risk of getting cancer.

Speaking on behalf of the UK Faculty of Public Health Professor Mark Bellis said:

"About half of all cancer-related deaths caused by alcohol are in people who drink within government guidelines. In other words, for cancer there are no safe levels of consumption. People have a right to know the risks they are taking when they drink alcohol and that is why we are asking for health warnings on all alcohol products."

While it is up to each of us to look after our health, government has a responsibility to take action on everyone's behalf when the evidence is clear that lives can be saved. That's why public health professionals have long been calling for a minimum unit price for alcohol. The evidence is clear that it would save lives, make communities safer and reduce the huge burden of treating alcohol on the NHS. Moderate drinkers have nothing to fear from a minimum price either, as it would hardly affect them.

Public health professionals, doctors, nurses and many others back minimum unit pricing. The Prime Minister has expressed support for it. The only people with anything to lose are the people who make a profit from it. That's why we need a clear commitment to minimum unit pricing from the government.

Written: 22/03/2013 , last modified: 03/05/2013