Some stories from the media since the March round-up:
Per capita alcohol consumption down 18% since 2004
UK alcohol consumption per head fell again in 2013 by 2.1%, says the British Beer & Pub Association, which compiles data every year based on HMRC alcohol tax returns. This is the seventh year in the past nine that there has been a fall. In total, Britons drank over seven billion fewer units of alcohol in 2013, compared with 2004 when the downward trend began. However consumption rose steadily over several decades prior.
Alcohol cancer ad not in breach
The Advertising Standards Authority rejected complaints from the alcohol industry about a TV advert linking alcohol to cancer after being presented with some of the large body of evidence about alcohol and cancer risk, reports the Guardian. The ad, produced by Balance North East, shows a tumour in a glass of beer.
Alcohol and obesity
Drinking more than three large glasses of wine can push people over a "tipping point", meaning they consume about 6,300 extra calories in the following 24 hours, according to Slimmming World research, as reported by the BBC.
A study carried out for the Telegraph found that many alcoholic drinks contain significant amounts of sugar. A single pint of cider contained almost as much sugar as the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends should be an average person’s daily limit. A tin of gin and tonic contains about half that.
Powdered alcohol - confusion over legality
A product called "Palcohol" gained widespread attention (see for example this story from the Independent) after it was reported that the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the powdered alcohol, including vodka and rum varieties. However, according to The Associated Press, the approvals were issued in error.
Alcohol Concern has criticised the former England football captain David Beckham for his decision to promote a whisky brand in partnership with the drinks company Diageo and TV producer Simon Fuller, says Third Sector.
The City of London Corporation’s licensing committee has unanimously agreed to introduce a late-night levy, after the authority consulted on the fee for the second time in five months reports the Morning Advertiser.
Plans to open a chain of discount pubs selling beer for just £1 have sparked a furious reaction from drink awareness campaigners says the Mirror. The first of the 'PoundPubs' has already opened in Manchester, bringing customers 'more round for your pound'. A second is about to open in Stockton on Tees, with an application for a special licence to sell beer from 8am.
If successful, the 'PoundPubs' chain has pledged to bring the brand nationwide, with a range of beers, ciders, bitters and cask ales on offer for £1.50-a-pint, or £1 for a half. Mike Wardell, a director at Here for Your Hospitality Ltd, said the latest PoundPub to open in Stockton-on-Tees would bring a traditional local to the High Street. But alcohol campaigner Colin Shevells, director of Balance, said: "Drink is already too affordable, too available and too heavily promoted".
Tackling street drinking
From 5th April, supermarkets across Gloucester are banned from selling cut price alcohol reports the Gloucester Citizen. Strict new tariffs will see cans of lager sold for a minimum of 50p, bottles of wine will cost at least £2.24 and spirits cannot be sold for less than £10.16. Dr Allan Harris, a GP who runs a drop-in health clinic welcomed the initiative, saying:
"Clearly alcohol poses a major and enduring threat to life and health for the homeless population. As has been seen when other drugs become less available, they switch to whatever else is around. Mephedrone is a particular problem in Gloucester at the moment. Those of us providing health care to the homeless need to be on our toes to step in and help homeless people who are reducing alcohol use, to intervene to prevent the complications of acute alcohol withdrawal, including seizures and delerium tremens.”