News roundup: May 2018

Maddy Lawson | June 2018 | 6 minutes

May's monthly roundup from the Alcohol Policy UK blog.

Each month we publish a news roundup from the Alcohol Policy UK blog. Since the April roundup

In The News

Minimum unit pricing introduced in Scotland

On 1 May the Scottish Government introduced a minimum unit price for alcohol. This was covered by most major news outlets; read the BBC’s coverage here. Read our summary of what it means for Scotland and the rest of the UK here.

Government commits to new national alcohol strategy

Ministers are set to launch a crackdown on the causes of alcohol-fuelled violence as part of a new strategy that will look at how to better manage the licensing system and also how to protect vulnerable people. Independent and Alcohol Policy UK analysis. Read our response to the announcement here.

Treatment budgets cut by 18% since 2013/14

Analysis by the BBC found that £162m (18%) has been cut from drug and alcohol treatment budgets in England since 2013-14, with budgeted spending falling from £877m in 2013-14 to £716m in 2017-18.

Alcohol treatment sector in crisis

Severe funding cuts and a loss of qualified staff have pushed England’s alcohol treatment services to crisis point, a reportpublished by Alcohol Concern / Alcohol Research UK warned. Problems could further worsen from 2020 due to the end of ring-fenced public health funding. LocalGov and Alcohol Policy UK analysis. Read our summary of the research here.

Public Health England to review evidence for minimum unit pricing in England

Junior health minister Steve Brine has told the Commons that the government is “committed to tackling all alcohol-related harms” and has commissioned Public Health England to review evidence for introducing a minimum price in England. The Grocer

ONS publishes latest consumption figures

The latest consumption figures from the Office of National Statistics were again reported mainly in terms of the divide between different earners, and across age groups, with higher earning professionals more likely to be regular drinkers than less well-off adults. Independent and Alcohol Policy UK analysis.

Research

Cancer risk labelling may make some reduce their alcohol consumption: Global Drugs Survey

Findings from the annual Global Drugs Survey suggests that warning drinkers they risk different forms of cancer could make some people re-think their alcohol consumption, but most will ignore other warnings on bottles and drinks about the damaging effects of alcohol on health. Guardian

Smaller alcohol measures may prevent deaths: Liverpool and Sheffield

New research published by universities in Liverpool and Sheffield has been reported as suggesting smaller alcohol measures could lead to 1,400 fewer alcohol-related deaths in the UK. Spirits Business and Alcohol Policy UK analysis.

Drinkers support clearer labelling of alcohol products: University of Bristol

New research led by the University of Bristol has found that drinkers support clearer labelling of alcohol products, including the provision of unit, calorie and health information, which would address current gaps in public knowledge.

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy may arise in part because of genetics: Imperial College London

A study led by the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London suggests that alcoholic cardiomyopathy is not simply the result of alcohol poisoning, but arises from a genetic predisposition – and that other family members may be at risk too. Belfast Telegraph