Public health experts in the U.K. have recently begged the government to ban cheap booze, saying that low-cost alcohol causes 13,000 cases of cancer yearly — and 25 percent of deaths in young Britons, according to the BBC.
Physicians, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, have said that a proposed Scottish ban on cheap drinks would help prevent alcohol-related ailments.
In England and Wales, laws barring stores from selling drinks below cost have already been enacted. In Scotland, legislators have also made illegal “irresponsible” drink promotions, the paper reports.
But the British Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians, and Royal College of Nursing want Britain to outlaw low-cost alcohol altogether, saying that bold action must be taken to prevent further public health problems. They think that at least 10,000 lives can be saved yearly with minimum pricing standards, the paper notes.
“We need to narrow the price gap between alcohol bought in bars and restaurants with alcohol bought in supermarkets and off-licences, to make bulk discounts and pocket-money prices a thing of the past,” the letter said. “We urgently need to raise the price of cheap drink.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 14, 2011