11th May 2015: We look forward to working with the new government to continue to advocate for evidence-based policies in order to mitigate the harms caused to society by alcohol. Drinking is often seen as a personal choice rather than a public health issue which affects the wider population. We now have more evidence of the harms caused by alcohol than ever before as well as strong evidence on what works to reduce the damage caused.
Evidence from the AHA shows that the public are largely unaware of the health risks associated with drinking, including the link between alcohol and cancer. Research also shows that young people are drinking from an earlier age and of those who drink, they are drinking more. When individual choices cause harm to others and generate societal costs, as alcohol does, there needs to be a proportionate, evidence-based response. We will work with the government to support the development of that response.
Our policies are set out in the document Health First, which was developed independently of groups with vested interests. Unless action is taken to tackle alcohol harms we will be storing up problems for our health and social services, frontline blue light services and future generations. It’s time for the government to step up and meet this challenge.