UK teens ‘most likely to get drunk’

A new study has found that UK youngsters are more likely to have been drunk by the age of 13 than those from almost any other country.

The study, which interviewed 1,000 16 to 24 year olds and was published to mark Alcohol Awareness Week, also found that 69% of young people claim that the difference in the price of alcohol bought from pubs and bars compared with off-licences influences how they drink.

With young people also saying that they think it is “cheaper to buy a three-litre bottle of cider than buy a ticket to go to the cinema” and that “cheap alcohol promotions encourage excessive drinking”, the call for minimum alcohol pricing has gained further momentum.

Alcohol Concern’s programme policy manager, Tom Smith, said: “This survey shows just how urgent action on minimum unit pricing is and we’re calling on the government to set a 50p minimum unit price without delay.”

Smith added: This report is further proof of the impact cheap alcohol is having on the health and wellbeing of our young people.

“They have told us loud and clear that the way in which alcohol is priced influences the way they drink. We also know that our young people are more likely to have experienced being drunk by the age of 13 than their peers in almost any other European country.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “This is further evidence that cheap alcohol contributes to irresponsible drinking. Introducing a minimum unit price is just one of a range of measures the government is taking to tackle the minority who cause alcohol-related crime and disorder in our local communities.”

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