Today I woke up to that the government has launched a strategy consultation on introducing a 45p minimum unit price on alcohol in England and Wales. This is of course BIG news today.
Civil society and health promotion groups argue that 45p is not enough, Scotland having chosen a 50p minimum unit price. But Big Alcohol is raging: “They are breaking EU law!”
As I made my way to the University, I thought, rather than just recapping what is being written in the news, why not ask people in the field how they feel about it.
Lauren, a student welfare coordinator said: “I’m not too worried about a nanny state, I feel the Government has a duty to protect, but I’m not sure it’s getting to the heart of the problem. The problem with the 30 plus middle class drinkers won’t be affected by this.”
Clare, a public health commissioner said: “It’s very interesting, but I’m not sure though that it will target the ‘right’ group. The problem is not the poorest, it’s the middle classes.”
Luzia, a dentist from Venezuela, living in England said: “In Venezuela we don’t drink like people do here, but we still have problems with binge drinking among young people, but it seems like a good idea.”
Overall, people seem generally ok with the idea of a minimum price on alcohol; however they are not convinced that it will have a significant effect on “harmful alcohol use” on its own. I agree with them, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
For more information on the news I recommend:
BBC Health: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20515918
BBC Politics: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20528547
Home Office: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/alcohol/alcohol-pricing/