Swanswell welcomes minimum pricing as a ‘first step’

08 November 2011

A ban on selling alcohol below minimum price being introduced next year is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done, according to Swanswell.

Swanswell - a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use - is responding to news that from 6 April 2012, shops and bars will not be able to sell drinks for less than the tax paid on them (BBC news).

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Today’s news is certainly a step in the right direction but looking at pricing alone won’t stop people buying alcohol and drinking to excess.

The promotion of alcohol, where it is placed on sale and the product itself all need to be re-considered – for example, you only have to go in to your local supermarket where, in many cases, alcohol on special offer is visible as soon as you walk in.

In addition, there needs to be clear guidance about the effects of alcohol. We’re often bombarded with confusing, mixed messages about alcohol such as what the recommended daily limit is or whether or not it’s safe to drink when pregnant.

Better education about the risks would mean people can make informed decisions about their alcohol use.

However, it’s an issue much wider than any individual, policy maker or organisation can tackle on its own – it’s something we all must take responsibility for in order to create a society free from problem alcohol use.’

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