Problem drinkers account for almost 70 per cent of alcohol sales

The alcohol industry makes an estimated £23.7bn in sales in England alone

Almost 70 per cent of alcohol sold in England is consumed by drinkers who are risking their health, a study has claimed. 

The alcohol industry makes an estimated £16.35bn per year in sales to harmful drinkers in England, according to figures seen by The Guardian.

Approximately 69 per cent of alcohol sales are consumed by harmful or hazardous drinkers, of which 38 per cent is consumed by those who drink more than the old weekly guidelines of 14 units a week for a woman and 21 units a week for a man, according to work conducted by Professor Nick Sheron, of Southampton University. 

In a previous study Professor Sheron also found male patients in a liver unit consumed an average of 146 units a week and female patients consumed 142. According to the study, problem drinkers would be unable to afford their addiction without access to alcohol as cheap as 33 pence per unit.

Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health, estimates that 10.8million people drink at risky levels and 1.6million are dependent on alcohol.

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