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Thursday 20th June 2019

Alcohol deaths warning

20th February 2012

Doctors writing in The Lancet have said more than 200,000 people could die in England and Wales by 2032 if no changes are made to current policies on alcohol.


The doctors, Prof Ian Gilmore, the former president of the Royal College of Physicians, Dr Nick Sheron, from the National Institute for Health Research and members of the British Society of Gastroenterology, said a projected figure of 210,000 deaths could occur as a "worst-case scenario".

They said the UK was at a "potential tipping point" and added: "It remains entirely within the power of the UK government to prevent the worst-case scenario of preventable deaths."

The projections show that 70,000 people could die from liver disease and the remainder from causes such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and accidents.

The chief executive of Alcohol Concern, Eric Appleby, said: "What we have to accept is that doing nothing is no longer a responsible option for alcohol policy, and that trying to 'nudge' drinking culture through information and persuasion has proved to be little better than doing nothing.

"We can see from the example of other countries that drinking patterns really can change, the challenge is there for the government to start the process now through the alcohol strategy." 

The Department of Health is due to release its alcohol strategy document for England later in 2012. 


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