New Strategies Needed To Tackle Alcohol Problems
Government strategies addressing alcohol-related problems focus only on public order problem but not on the health issues. Reuters

Government strategies addressing alcohol-related problems focus only on public order problem but not on health issues, according to the Health Commitee report.

The present government's alcohol strategies focus more on binge drinking and its consequences for anti-social behaviour and public disorder than on health issues caused by excess consumption of alcohol. The government needs to focus on health issues also as well as address the impact of consuming excess of alcohol, according to the committee.

It not only supports the idea of introducing a minimum price for alcohol, but also wants the government to address health-related issues related to alcohol consumption.

"The committee supports the decision to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol, but the government needs to recognise that setting the price is not a one-off event. A transparent process must be put in place in order to ensure that the price level is evidence-based and is monitored over time to assess its effectiveness," said Stephen Dorrell, chairman of the Health Commitee, in a statement.

"We also recommend that there should be a 'sunset clause' on the implementation of a minimum price so that it only remains in place if it is shown to be effective in reducing harmful drinking," he added.

In 2010, More than 6,300 people died consuming excess alcohol. NHS officials claim that in the next twenty years more than 200,000 people will die of excess intake of alcohol.

The report also claims that the alcohol industry needs to focus on its advertising. According to it, alcohol advertisements always promote liquor products but they do not mention the health issues caused by consuming excess alcohol.

According to health committee officials, the government should re-examine the rules related to advertising alcohol. They should bring certain rules to reduce advertisements targeted at youngsters under 18 years.

"Striking the right balance on alcohol consumption is not straightforward. Most people enjoy alcohol without evidence of significant harm to their health, yet it is not possible to define what a generally safe level of consumption is as alcohol affects different people in different ways. Individuals who drink alcohol and the companies which sell it have an obligation to do so in a way which respects the rights and interests of their fellow citizens," Dorrell said.