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Government guidelines on alcohol to be welcomed

FPH welcomes the government’s announcement about alcohol consumption guidelines. Commenting on the guidelines, Professor Mark Bellis, alcohol lead for the Faculty of Public Health, said: "The public has the right to know about the harms associated with alcohol consumption, so that they can make informed choices about their drinking.

"At the moment, public understanding of the true harms of alcohol is low: for example, the majority of people are not aware of the links between alcohol and cancer. The evidence linking alcohol to over 200 causes of ill health is unarguable: there is no level of drinking which can be considered ‘safe’.  People don't realise that drink is associated with such a wide range of health harms.
“Given how established alcohol is in large parts of British culture, these guidelines will need to be widely and regularly disseminated in order to ensure that the public are fully informed. FPH strongly supports the use of mass media campaigns developed by Public Health England and mandatory labeling of alcohol products with the new alcohol guidelines and warning about how alcohol increases risks of cancer and other health problems.

We also need to see the introduction of a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol. MUP would not adversely affect moderate drinkers but would help reduce consumption in the heaviest drinkers and other groups most vulnerable to alcohol related harms. In fact, it would benefit everyone as it will help reduce the multi-million pound costs to the public purse of dealing with alcohol related problems. Those costs include policing our high streets each evening and the more than a million alcohol-related admissions to hospital visits each year.”

Written: 26/08/2016 , last modified: 18/10/2016