Dealing with drink

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Letter to THe Irish Times, published on Wendesday, August 14

Sir, – It is quite wrong to hold up the UK government as an example to other countries when it comes to dealing with alcohol misuse (Kathryn D’Arcy, August 12th). The central plank of the UK government’s alcohol strategy published in March 2012 was minimum unit pricing for alcohol and it recently fell victim to a well-organised and heavily financed counter-campaign by the alcohol industry.

However, even despite this lobbying from the industry, the UK government has not rejected minimum pricing outright, but it is “under active consideration” while legal cases are resolved in Scotland. The public health community in the UK continues with our campaign to persuade Westminster of the need for minimum unit pricing as there is strong evidence that this is a policy that will save lives.

We urge the Irish and Northern Ireland governments to follow the lead of colleagues in the Scottish parliament by holding fast against industry pressure and taking action to protect the health of their most vulnerable by introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol. – Yours, etc,



Alcohol Health Alliance,

Old Street,