BMA lobbying

Reducing alcohol-related harm in England

A wide-ranging approach to reducing alcohol-related harm is needed covering the availability, affordability and marketing of alcohol as well as support for healthcare professionals.

Location: England
Audience: Public health doctors
Updated: Monday 7 September 2020
Topics: Population health
Public Health Article Illustration

What you will get from this report

  • Information on the range of key policy responses needed.
  • Measures needed to tackle the affordability and availability of alcohol in England.


Key points

  • Alcohol is readily available, increasing affordable and heavily marketed as an accepted part of modern life. Yet, the health harms of alcohol are widely known.
  • There are over 7,500 deaths from alcohol related causes every year and over 1 million alcohol related hospital admissions.
  • Alcohol is causally linked to over 60 different medical conditions including liver damage, brain damage, poisoning, stroke, abdominal disorders and certain cancers.
  • Given the increasing affordability, availability and significant harm caused by alcohol, there are a range of actions needed including effective regulation, such as the introduction of a MUP, as well as increases in alcohol duty and restrictions on marketing of alcohol products.
  • Introduction
  • Increasing duty on all alcohol products
  • Legislating for a minimum unit price in England
  • Implementing consistent mandatory labelling of all alcoholic products
  • Introducing regulations to limit alcohol advertising
  • Ensuring alcohol education messages are delivered independently of industry
  • Establishing public health as a licensing objective
  • Legislating to reduce the legal drink driving limit to 50mg/100ml
  • Promoting CMO guidance to not drink during pregnancy
  • Training all healthcare professionals in early identification and brief
  • Adequately funding alcohol treatment services