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Minimum pricing of alcohol is best way to protect public’s health, says FPH

Minimum pricing of alcohol is the best way to protect people’s health, says the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) today (Friday 23 March).

The government has today announced plans to consult on a minimum price of 40 pence per unit per alcohol as part of its alcohol strategy. Under the government’s responsibility deal, the alcohol industry has also announced plans to remove a billion units of alcohol from their products and increase the number of low alcohol drinks.

Professor Lindsey Davies, President of the Faculty of Public Health said: "We are delighted that that the government is going to consult on introducing a minimum price for alcohol. Evidence shows that it is one of the most effective ways to save lives.

“New research out this week, showing that alcohol is a major cause of a 25% increase in deaths from liver disease, is a timely reminder that we need to act now to tackle this major public health crisis.

“Industry removing one billion units of alcohol is a step in the right direction but we are very pleased that plans are in place to do this as well as, not instead of, introducing a minimum price.

“FPH has remained engaged in the responsibility deal on alcohol to continue to highlight to government and industry the responsibilities they have and encourage them to take action. We will now do all we can to make minimum pricing a reality."

Professor Mark Bellis, FPH’s spokesperson on alcohol, said: “Introducing a minimum price for alcohol is excellent news even for the moderate drinker. For around £5 a year more on their alcohol bill they will see less youths on street corners drinking cheap cider and spirits, more police freed up from dealing with alcohol fuelled violence, safer town and city centres and more hospital beds freed up from those with alcohol related diseases.

“A minimum price is excellent news for everyone - except those who profit from the excessive drinking which causes so many of the health and social problems this country faces.”

Written: 23/03/2012 , last modified: 19/07/2012