Cheap booze should be ‘pulled from shelves’

Super-strength alcohol which is “cheaper than bottles of water” should be pulled from shelves in the UK’s second capital, according to a recent health report, writes Amy Hopkins.

Minimum alcohol pricingThe report, written by Birmingham’s director of public health, Dr Adrian Philips, stated that curbing the amount of super-strength available in the city would help combat its health and social problems.

It adds that more than 25% of hospital emergency admissions are linked to alcohol.

Phillips told the BBC: “The availability of very cheap and very strong ciders and alcohol is fuelling many of the problems in our society including hospital admissions, troubled families, domestic violence and safeguarding children.”

He therefore proposes a scheme much like the one introduced in Ipswich, Suffolk, in 2012, whereby 75% of off-licenses took these products off their shelves voluntarily.

However, some off-license owners have said that the scheme could impact on their profits and that the scheme will not necessarily reduce harmful alcohol consumption in Birmingham.

Business-owners have also said that drinkers may turn to strong spirits if super-strength beers, lagers and ciders are not available.

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