News roundup: March 2019

April 2019 | 5 minutes

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

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

In the news

Minimum unit price increase proposed in Scotland

A minimum unit price 'hike' has been proposed in Scotland by some politicians, following the latest hospital alcohol data. There were 35,499 hospital admissions in 2017-18, reports the Daily Record (see here for the official statistical release). The report highlighted the significant differences between socioeconomic groups, with those in the most deprived areas being seven times more likely to be admitted to hospital than those from the least deprived areas. Lib Dem health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “We’ve set out a clear, practical plan of how to turn this around, including protecting partnership budgets and increasing the minimum unit price.”

Research

One bottle of wine a week increases cancer risk

Drinking one bottle of wine a week increases the risk of developing cancer over a lifetime by the equivalent of 10 cigarettes a week for women and five for men, according to a new study as reported by the BBC and others. The researchers say if 1,000 non-smoking men and 1,000 non-smoking women each drank one bottle of wine a week, around 10 extra men and 14 extra women could develop cancer during their lives. However, whilst providing some insight, Dr Minouk Schoemaker, a scientist at The Institute of Cancer Research, said it was still "difficult to disentangle the effects of alcohol and cigarette smoking entirely, and the study did not take into account the duration of smoking or time since stopping."

Awareness of alcohol marketing increases riskiness of teenagers’ drinking

Teenagers with higher awareness of alcohol marketing are more likely to consume more and be higher-risk drinkers, according to research reported by ITV news. It was also found that almost one in five (17%) of young people aged 11 to 19 own branded alcohol merchandise, which is also linked with increased and more unhealthy drinking habits. The researchers said the findings, published in the journal BMJ Open, support measures to reduce young people’s exposure to the marketing of alcohol products on TV, social media and through sponsorship.