Healthy living

Drunk for half the price of a chocolate bar

Drunk for half the price of a bar of chocolate Alcohol being sold for 10p a unit

Young people can get drunk for half the price of a bar of chocolate, a survey has found.

A study on alcohol pricing found cider available in city centre supermarkets and off licences for as little as 10p a unit, while lager can be bought for little more than 26p a pint.

The Core Cities group - which represents health professionals working in England's eight biggest cities outside London - looked at the prices of a number of drinks over the past three weeks.

They found 3 litre bottles of strong cider - containing more alcohol than doctors recommend a grown man should drink in a week, and almost enough to kill a child - on sale for just £2.25, around a third of a week's pocket money.

And unbranded lager was found priced at just 92p for a bottle containing 1.76 litres - around 3½ pints, or 26p a pint.

The snapshot survey also found alcopops aimed at young people often sold on mixed aisles alongside the fruit juices and soft drinks they try to taste like, rather than the vodka and spirits which go into them.

Deborah Evans, chair of the Core Cities Health Improvement Collaborative, which carried out the research, said: "Despite inflation, increases in duty on alcohol and commitments to curb below-cost selling, we have seen the price of the cheapest alcohol largely unaffected over the past 12 months.

"As a result, young men and women can still buy their maximum recommended weekly allowance of alcohol for the price of a small latte or a cheap magazine.

"Meanwhile, the true cost of alcohol is picked up by taxpayers in the form of soaring hospital admissions, crime and anti-social behaviour."

"Despite all the encouraging noises we've heard in the past twelve months about tackling the damage caused by cheap booze, the grand talk in Parliament has had no effect on prices being paid at the checkout.

"The time for tough talking is over; what we need now is strong and decisive action if we have any hope of tackling the plague of illness and injury caused by selling alcohol more cheaply than water."

This article was published on Mon 18 October 2010

Image © Yurok Aleksandrovich -

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