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UK Study Suggests Negligible Impact From Minimum Pricing Of Alcohol Products

Published on Feb 18 2014 9:32 AM in Drinks

UK Study Suggests Negligible Impact From Minimum Pricing Of Alcohol Products

The introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol would have negligible effects on low-income moderate drinkers, according to a study by the University of Sheffield. It found that that the implementation of 45p per unit minimum, which is being mooted in the UK, would have the most noticeable effect on those whose drinking is labelled as ‘harmful’. 

The study, which was published in The Lancet, said that minimum pricing would predominatly reduce deaths and hospital admissions among heavy drinkers who buy cheaper alcohol products, and estimates an annual reduction in alcohol-related deaths of 860, with hospital admissions being cut by 29,900, in the UK.

Professor Petra Meier, Director of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, said: “Our study finds no evidence to support the concerns highlighted by government and the alcohol industry that minimum unit pricing would penalise responsible drinkers on low incomes.

“Instead, minimum unit pricing is a policy that is targeted at those who consume large quantities of cheap alcohol. By significantly lowering rates of ill health and premature deaths in this group, it is likely to contribute to the reduction of health inequalities.”

There has been demand for the introduction of minimum pricing in Ireland, with the Cabinet agreeing to proposals last year. The Department of Health insisted in October this would not result in ‘across-the-board’ price increases.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Karis Copp.

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