Headlines that half a unit a day would save thousands of lives have been triggered by a BMJ article which modelled the impact of changes in consumption. Lead author Dr Melanie Nichols said: “It is likely that government recommendations would need to be set at a much lower level than the current ‘low risk’ drinking guidelines in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for public health.” But the authors did not directly call for a lowering of the guidelines, which currently under review. See reports from the BBC, Telegraph, Guardian and an explanation from NHS Choices.
Headlines also reported that 1 in 8 deaths under the age of 64 are caused by alcohol, following comments from Professor Eileen Kaner who called for tougher policy action including a ban on marketing. A Newcastle University conference heard that European alcohol consumption is more than twice the global average - see Press Association and Daily Mail reports. However the source of the data has been questioned, meriting an analysis on FullFact.
Plans to dock benefits of drug and alcohol abusers who reject help have come under fire. Drugscope have written to Iain Duncan Smith to clarify welfare plans he is expected to announce shortly - BBC, Guardian & Drugscope statement. Meanwhile the Commons Speaker John Bercow has said more MPs are seeking help for alcohol problems as Parliament attempts to crack down on Westminster's drinking culture- Telegraph report.
Dedicated alcohol ambulances are to treat drinkers over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and European football championships - Daily Telegraph. Alcohol sensors should be in every car to cut drink-related road deaths and injuries, says the government's former chief drugs adviser David Nutt - BBC report.
Trade & industry news
Supermarket giant ASDA has pledged £1m to Addaction, a national charity that helps young people and families tackle problems with alcohol. The £1m will fund ‘Reach Out’, a new support programme run from Addaction services in Barnsley, Cornwall and Liverpool.
National Pubwatch (NPW) has launched an online mapping tool to help the organisation draw up a list of pubwatch schemes across the UK. SABMiller and the BII are set to launch a new scheme aimed at helping bar staff battle against alcohol abuse and under-age sales.
A licensed trade consultant has launched an e-petition calling on the Government to take action against under 18-year-olds who attempt to buy alcohol in pubs. The industry petition calling to end the beer duty escalator has hit 50,000 signatures - half way to forcing a debate on the issue in Parliament.
Events & dates
A Drinkaware seminar on Influencing young people’s attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol at the University of Leeds, Thursday 14 June 2012, 9.30 – 1.30pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. City Health 2012 will take place in the City of London’s historic Guildhall on 22nd and 23rd October 2012. See here for other events.
Applications for Middlesex University's MA in Comparative Drug and Alcohol Studies close on the 18th June.