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23/03/2012

Eurocare welcomes minimum pricing on alcohol beverages in England

“England shows willingness to address the harm caused by alcohol, and should be seen as an example for other Members States as well as the European Commission”, says Mariann Skar, Secretary General in Eurocare.

“Price is one of the most effective mechanisms to address alcohol consumption. However, price can also be addressed by increasing taxes on alcohol, which would in addition give important revenues to the country budget.”

England and Europe consume alcohol at excessive levels, some European countries are around 2.5 times higher than the global average (WHO 2009 ). Alarmingly 43% of 15-16 year old European students report heavy binge drinking (ESPAD 2007 ) and alcohol is the single biggest cause of death among young men aged 16 to 24. Alcohol abuse is one of the 4 risk factors for developing NCDs such as cancer (which affects 1 in 3 Europeans) and cardiovascular disease.

“A comprehensive policy is needed to address the harm caused by alcohol, and price mechanisms are important in this context. Still, pricing alone would not be sufficient, and the minimum pricing needs support from other mechanisms in the follow up of the initiative”, says Mariann Skar.