Fixed drink price 'will save lives'

 

Plans to introduce minimum alcohol pricing would save more than 1,000 lives each year, a report has claimed.

The Government announced last month that it was planning to set a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol for England and Wales.

An article published on bmj.com said the proposal would have significant impacts on alcohol-related deaths, hospital admissions and consumption.

The report's author, John Appleby, chief economist at the King's Fund, added that a minimum price of 50p would more than double the effects.

Mr Appleby said the 40p minimum price would reduce alcohol-related deaths by 1,149 and would see 38,900 fewer hospital admissions.

It would also cut each person's alcohol consumption by 2.4%.

Mr Appleby said alcohol-related hospital admissions doubled in England between 2002 to 2010, to around 265,000 each year.

Alcohol-related deaths also increased between 2001 and 2008 but fell slightly in 2009 to 6,584.

But binge drinking among young men has seen a sharp decline since 1998.

The article, titled Drinking nation: have we had enough?, found spending on alcohol more than doubled between 1964 and 2004 but then fell by 17% - back to 1996 levels - over the next five years.

It increased again slightly in 2010, to a total of £42.1 billion - a third of the amount spent on the NHS each year.

Each person over the age of 18 spent an average of £17 a week.

Mr Appleby said price and disposable income were the key to determining the demand for alcohol and spending often dipped in times of economic recession.

He said the fall in spending between 2004 and 2009 was partly due to the recent economic recession.

Mr Appleby added that alcohol was much more affordable now than it was 30 years ago, apart from brief periods since 1980, which generally coincided with economic recessions and lower disposable incomes.

He said: "Whether or not these observations constitute a substantial problem now - given the lags in health and other effects of drinking and recent falls in consumption - the impacts of various price and non-price interventions to reduce drinking have been extensively modelled, and they show significant results.

"For the Government's proposed minimum price tactic of 40 pence per unit of alcohol, the impacts include a reduction in the mean annual consumption per drinker of 2.4%, in deaths of 1,149 annually and in hospital admissions of 38,900 annually.

"A 50 pence minimum price would more than double all these effects."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Engineers / Senior Electronics Engineers

£25000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in Henley-on-Thames, this...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project