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Alcohol Strategy consultation report: PHE response

Public Health England responds to the Government's decision on minimum unit pricing.

Public Health England shares the disappointment of the public health community that the introduction of a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol is not being taken forward at this point, although it recognises that this remains under active consideration.

PHE exists to present the scientific evidence on the facts affecting the public’s health and to show where national and local action can best help improve it.

Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE’s Director of Health and Wellbeing said:

From a public health perspective the evidence base for MUP is already strong and growing. Alcohol misuse is a major cause of early death and dysfunction for individuals, their families and the community. There is strong evidence that MUP would make cheap and higher-strength alcohol less available, with the greatest impact being in younger and in heavier drinkers. Six countries including Canada have introduced minimum pricing for alcohol and we are beginning to see significant benefits. PHE will take forward a comprehensive and scientific review of all the available evidence to inform the Government’s final decision on implementation of this measure.

We welcome the measures announced today including the ban on selling alcohol at below cost prices and the establishment of local action areas to develop the evidence base for the use of local powers and restrictions. We will work with local government and the NHS to encourage the take up of these measures.

Photo courtesy themacgirl under creative commons license.