Third of all alcohol sold in England consumed by 4% of population

Less than 5% of England’s population is responsible for a third of all alcohol consumption in the UK, according to Public Health England (PHE), which has argued that minimum unit pricing would help reduce instances of problem drinking.

Less than 5% of England’s population is responsible for a third of all alcohol consumption in the UK

The figures emerged during a parliamentary debate on minimum unit price on alcohol, with PHE citing statistics that showing that ed that around 2 million people drink just over 30% of the alcohol sold in England.

“A staggeringly small group of people, about 4% of the population, are drinking just under a third of the alcohol consumed in the country, about two million people,” said Rosanna O’Connor, director of alcohol, drugs and tobacco at Public Health England (PHE), as reported by The Independent.

“I thought ‘wow’, when that emerged from our evidence review, 4.4% of people drink 32% of the alcohol. It’s a staggering figure.”

It highlights a small section of the country that is drinking heavily, mostly cheap, strong, alcohol, according to PHE, adding weight to its argument for introducing a minimum unit price of 50p on alcohol to help curb excessive consumption at the lower end of the market.

O’Connor said a minimum price police would “exquisitely target” the strongest, cheapest alcohol and would have little to no impact on moderate drinkers.

Some doctors have said that the changes would benefit those in this group by making very strong alcohol less affordable. However other have warned that making it harder to purchase cheap alcohol could instead spark a rise in drug abuse

A ruling on minimum unit pricing was recently passed in Scotland, which will become the first country in the world with a minimum price for alcohol following a ruling by the Supreme Court, which rejected an appeal by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA.)

Scottish ministers have said that a minimum price of 50 pence-per-unit would help tackle Scotland’s “unhealthy relationship with drink” by raising the price of cheap, high-strength alcohol. It means that a bottle of wine cannot be sold for under £4.69, a four-pack of 500ml beer cans for under £4 and a bottle of whisky for less than £14.

Late last year Public health minister, Rebecca Evans, introduced a new minimum alcohol price bill before the Welsh National Assembly which aims to reduce NHS costs and alcohol-related hospital admissions in Wales.

A decision on whether minimum unit pricing should be introduced in England is yet to be reached.

One Response to “Third of all alcohol sold in England consumed by 4% of population”

  1. Andrew says:

    Is that an ever-changing conga of 4m, or the same 4m people as last year?

    If the former, the problem is already curing itself;
    If the latter the problem will cure itself;

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