Last updated on 5th April 2009
A recent article in the British Medical Journal (Kmietowicz 2009) reports that "The chief medical officer for England has called for a minimum price of 50 pence (0.54; $0.70) to be charged for a unit of alcohol to reduce excessive drinking and its associated harms. Liam Donaldson said that antisocial drinking should be targeted in the same way as smoking in public places so that being drunk is no longer an aim or socially acceptable. ‘England has a drink problem and the whole of society bears the burden,' said Professor Donaldson at the launch of his 2008 annual report. ‘The passive effects of heavy drinking on innocent parties are easily underestimated and frequently ignored. The concept of passive drinking and the devastating collateral effect that alcohol can have on others must be addressed on a national scale.' He said that evidence shows that price and access are the two key factors that can help to change drinking habits, as they were for tobacco."