London, Oct 19 (ANI): A new survey has revealed that the cheap price of some alcoholic drinks in Britain is leading to binge drinking and the death of one drinker per hour.
It has been revealed that because of the easy availability and cheapness of alcohol, young people can get drunk for less than the price of a chocolate bar.
Experts say this has led to an "epidemic" that will kill almost 100,000 people in the next 10 years, with the death toll being three times higher than in the 1980s.
According to a report by the Alcohol and Health Research Unit, the only way to reduce the number of deaths is to introduce a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol to prevent it being sold too cheaply.
"The UK has been experiencing an epidemic of alcohol-related health and social problems that is remarkable by international standards," the Daily Star quoted Professor Martin Plant, who led the study, as saying.
"It is strongly recommended that reducing mortality should be the top priority for alcohol control policy. This could be done by introducing a minimum unit price of 50p which would cut alcohol-related hospital admissions, crimes and absence days from work," he said.
The research, for Alcohol Concern, shows drink is 69 per cent cheaper in real terms than it was in 1980. Another report yesterday claims some bars sell alcohol for a "horrifying" 9p a unit.
The Core Cities Health Improvement Collaborative found that someone could render themselves unfit to drive for the price of a second-class stamp.
"The price at which alcohol can be bought in and around our inner cities today is nothing short of horrifying," chairwoman, Deborah Evans, said.
"Three litres of cider in big name supermarkets is just £1.18 and £1.26 - equivalent to 9p and 10p a unit," she stated.
Official figures show deaths from drink are highest among those aged 55-74.
This is partly because it takes years for alcohol to cause liver damage and death. But this group also tend to drink every night, unlike young people.
The Government says that it will simply carry on with public health campaigns.
"We are working harder than ever to reduce alcohol-related hospital admissions and help those who regularly drink too much," Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said.
"And we're arming people with facts on alcohol through the Know Your Limits campaign," Merron added. (ANI)