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News – Doctors’ warning on alcohol

February 2008

Doctors’ warning on alcohol

Doctors’ leaders have called on the UK Government to raise the price of alcohol to curb the harm caused by excessive drinking.

Writing in the British Medical Journal Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, and Nick Sheron, a liver specialist at Southampton University Hospital, said attempts to change people’s behaviour through education or public information had not worked. They argue that figures show alcohol to be a major health and social problem; and that raising prices, banning alcohol advertising and reducing availability should be considered instead.

Latest statistics suggest that alcohol was responsible for 150,000 hospital admissions and up to 22,000 deaths in 2003. It was also a factor in more than half of violent crimes and a third of domestic violence, with between 780,000 and 1.3 million children affected by their parents’ use of alcohol.

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