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DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
The government's alcohol strategy
The UK government alcohol strategy for England and Wales claims to signal a radical change to turn the tide against irresponsible drinking. After resisting the policy, headline is the commitment to setting a minimum per unit price for alcohol.
STUDY 2012 HTM file
Price discounts on alcohol in a city in northern England
As the British government reportedly tussles over whether to set a minimum per unit price for alcohol, evidence from Newcastle that the alternative below-cost ban would have prevented less than 1 in 50 discount offers.
A £0.40 minimum price per unit of alcohol plus a ban on discount promotions would cut drinking by 5.4% in Scotland, saving a life every day once the policy fully takes effect, and over the first ten years saving £millions in public and private sector costs.
Studies of a 'natural experiment' in Switzerland in the 2000s suggested that the effective re-criminalisation of cannabis production and distribution did diminish availability and use of the drug. The results contradict other findings suggesting that national policies have little effect on cannabis use.
DOCUMENT 2010 HTM file
Alcohol in our lives: curbing the harm
Extensive policy report from New Zealand accepts evidence that alcohol-related harm is best reduced by population level measures, including raising prices, licensing reform with harm reduction as its prime objective, and restricting the availability of alcohol through reduced opening hours, age limits and curbs on promotion.
Lead researcher on influential analyses of the impact of possible alcohol pricing changes in the UK paints a picture of the state of play in drinking and related harms in England and how far these have or may be affected by national policy initiatives in a European and international policy context.
UK Home Office draws conclusions from recent government-commissioned reviews and research on the likely impact of a rise in the price of alcohol in Britain. Direct evidence is thin, but suggests "on balance" that policies designed to increase price may reduce harms caused by alcohol.
Though real-world evidence was scarce, and especially so for the UK, this review commissioned by the UK Home Office concluded that higher alcohol taxes or prices are associated with decreased crime. The findings informed a later Home Office assessment of the likely impact of a rise in the price of alcohol in Britain.
STUDY 2011 HTM file
Economic impacts of alcohol pricing policy options in the UK
Assesses who will lose or gain (alcohol industry sectors; population groups; government) from three alcohol pricing policies recently mooted in the UK: minimum price; ban on below-cost sales; tax rises. Findings informed a Home Office assessment of the likely impact of a rise in the price of alcohol in Britain.
Poor drinkers in the UK consume a relatively high proportion of their alcohol in the form of very cheap products, but wealthier drinkers also drink these; a moderately high minimum price would spread the impact. Findings informed a Home Office assessment of the likely impact of a rise in the price of alcohol in Britain.
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