Alcohol: Report Together with Formal Minutes v. 1: First Report of Session 2009-10 - HC Session 2009-10 (Paperback)House of Commons Health Committee
Paperback Published: 08/01/2010
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This report "Alcohol ("HC 151-I")" calls for a radical change in the Government's approach to the health and social problems caused by the rising consumption of alcohol in England and Wales. Consumption per head has nearly tripled since 1947, and 31 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women are drinking hazardously (more than 21 units per week) or harmfully (more than 50 units per week). It is estimated alcohol abuse in England and Wales kills 30-40,000 people a year and costs the economy GBP 55bn. Excessive consumption also leads to serious accidents, disorder, violence and crime. The chapter one introduces the report. Chapter two looks at the history of alcohol consumption. Chapter three considers the impact of alcohol on health, the NHS and society as a whole, including the costs of crime and loss of work. Chapter four analyzes the Government's alcohol strategy. Chapter five considers the NHS policies on prevention and treatment. Chapter six looks at education and information policies. Chapter seven examines the marketing of alcohol. Chapter eight considers pubs and licensing. Chapter nine analyzes off-licence sales, particularly in supermarkets. Chapter ten looks at the key issue of the price of alcohol. The Committee calls for minimum pricing for units of alcohol. Chapter eleven puts forward a new alcohol strategy. Evidence shows that a rise in the price of alcohol is the most effective way to reduce consumption. It would affect most of all those who drink cheap alcohol, save up to 3000 lives a year with a price of 50 pence per unit, would benefit traditional pubs and encourage a switch to weaker wines and spirits. Minimum pricing should be accompanied by an increase in duty.