Alcohol is killing too many of us
There has been a 500% increase in deaths from liver cirrhosis in the past 40 years. This is mainly caused by the dramatic increase in alcohol consumption.
“Liver specialists are now caring for teenagers with cirrhosis, or life-threatening necrosis of the pancreas, after just five years of sustained, heavy binge drinking. I have seen five women in their 20s die from cirrhosis due to alcohol. Doctors are now caring for increasing numbers of young people in their 30s with permanent alcohol-related brain damage”
Kieran Moriarty in the Guardian on Monday 3 June 2013.
“It is time the government listened more to the chief medical officer and the president of the Royal College of Physicians and less to the drinks and retail industry”
The House of Commons Health Select Committee, 2010.
What has caused these problems?
- The availability of alcohol is now far beyond ‘a drink at the local pub’
- Alcohol is often deeply discounted to entice customers into stores
- Alcohol is 45% more affordable than it was in 1980 and is often much cheaper than bottled water
Does raising the price of alcohol actually work?
Yes it does.
In British Columbia, Canada, a 10% increase in alcohol prices led to a 32% reduction in alcohol-related deaths. Raising the minimum price of alcohol to be a ‘social treat’ rather than a ‘daily staple’ is supported by the medical profession, the police, children’s charities and emergency services.
The global alcohol industry is opposed to any minimum prices.
What a surprise.
As reported by The Guardian on June 3, 2013.