News roundup: July 2019

August 2019 | 5 minutes

The monthly alcohol news roundup from the Alcohol Policy UK blog.

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

In the news

The rise of the sober-curious

An article in the Guardian on 'The rise of the sober curious: having it all, without alcohol', explores a range of views on those promoting sober lifestyles through social media. The piece defines the “sober curious” are those who drink less or not at all and broadcast this abstinence with pride as a part of their social media personas. The article argues that they represent a positive shift towards a more accepting culture of non- or moderate drinking.

Sainsbury’s launches alcohol-free pop-up pub

Sainsbury’s launched ‘The Clean Vic’, a pop-up pub in central London which exclusively served no- or low-alcohol drinks, reports The Metro. Entry cost £5, which included two free drinks and bar snacks, and activities such as mocktail-making masterclasses were offered.

Exploring the effects of second-hand drinking

A Guardian piece explores a range of stories detailing the effects of drinking on others. 'How secondhand drinking ruins lives: “Every family has been touched by this”’ argues that misuse and the harms of second-hand drinking need to be destigmatised in order for the scale of the problem to be properly confronted.

Research

Alcohol-related problems not being tackled due to service cuts

Cuts to alcohol services mean a "national epidemic" of alcohol-related problems is not being tackled, King's College London researchers say in a BBC news report. More than £100m has been cut since services in England were reorganised in 2012, the study found. A BMJ blog says the burden of alcohol has been displaced onto an already overstretched NHS due to the cuts to addiction services.

Taxes on alcohol can benefit whole UK economy

Alcohol taxes can improve health outcomes and stimulate the UK economy, writes Aveek Bhattacharya in an LSE blog. Contrary to the government's current thinking, higher taxes on alcohol would not be bad for the economy as a whole: they would bring economic benefits as well as being an effective public health measure, the piece claims.

Giving up alcohol can improve mental health, new study finds

According to a new Canadian study, women who give up alcohol have better mental health, The Independent reports. Those who never drink alcohol had the highest level of mental well-being, and for female drinkers quitting was linked to a favourable change in mental health. Co-author Dr Michael Ni said: “quitting drinking may be associated with a more favourable change in mental wellbeing, approaching the level of lifetime abstainers.”