Southampton researchers found minimum price limits on alcohol will improve heavy drinkers' chances of kicking the booze

City experts say price limits would help drinkers kick booze

City experts say price limits would help drinkers kick booze

First published in Education Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

MINIMUM price limits on alcohol would improve heavy drinkers' chances of kicking the booze, Southampton researchers have found.

A new study of liver patients by the University of Southampton shows that a Minimum Unit Price (MUP) for alcohol is targeted towards the heaviest drinkers with cirrhosis.

Researchers studied the amount and type of alcohol consumed by 404 liver patients and asked how much they paid for the booze.

They found that patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis were drinking on average the equivalent of four bottles of vodka a week and paying around 33p a unit.

If the Government set a MUP at 50p, the impact on heavy drinking liver patients would be at least 200 times higher than low risk moderate drinkers, who pay on average £1.10 per unit of alcohol.

Prof Nick Sheron, from the University of Southampton, said: Setting a Minimum Unit Price for alcohol is an almost perfect alcohol policy because it targets cheap booze bought by very heavy drinkers and leaves moderate drinkers completely unaffected.

“Our research shows that an MUP set at 50p per unit would affect the liver patients killing themselves with cheap alcohol 200 times more than low risk drinkers.

“Alcohol sold to heavy drinkers provides three-quarters of the profits of the UK drinks industry, of which alcohol sold to very heavy drinkers provides one third.

“When the government says it is concerned about the impact of MUP on moderate drinkers, they are simply repeating propaganda which has been put out by the drinks industry to try and preserve the huge profits they are making from people drinking at really dangerous levels.

“The House of Commons Health Committee has stated in the past that they were concerned the policies were much closer to and influenced by the drinks industry and supermarkets than expert health professionals - and this is still the problem.

“Unless policy makers start listening to the evidence liver deaths will rise even further.”

Professor Ian Gilmore, the RCP special advisor on alcohol and chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, added: “Once again another robust study has highlighted the possible benefits a Minimum Unit Price could have on those in society who drink most heavily.”

Comments (11)

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8:33am Fri 1 Aug 14

thesouth says...

Hopefully this will include bars. Wish they would price students out of the alcohol market, after all, aren't they at uni to study? It appears as though they think uni is a right they have and with that right 'I have a right to get wasted and be a **** for three years'
Hopefully this will include bars. Wish they would price students out of the alcohol market, after all, aren't they at uni to study? It appears as though they think uni is a right they have and with that right 'I have a right to get wasted and be a **** for three years' thesouth
  • Score: 5

9:25am Fri 1 Aug 14

From the sidelines says...

thesouth wrote:
Hopefully this will include bars. Wish they would price students out of the alcohol market, after all, aren't they at uni to study? It appears as though they think uni is a right they have and with that right 'I have a right to get wasted and be a **** for three years'
What an unbelievable dumb comment, from someone who presumably lacked the intelligence to go to university and has been bitter ever since.

1. Bar prices are already in excess of 50p per unit.
2. There's more to the university experience than lectures, tutorials, assignments and exams.
3. Students pay heavily for the privilege of going to university.
4. There is a 'work hard, play hard' culture, and thesouth clearly only sees one side of that.
[quote][p][bold]thesouth[/bold] wrote: Hopefully this will include bars. Wish they would price students out of the alcohol market, after all, aren't they at uni to study? It appears as though they think uni is a right they have and with that right 'I have a right to get wasted and be a **** for three years'[/p][/quote]What an unbelievable dumb comment, from someone who presumably lacked the intelligence to go to university and has been bitter ever since. 1. Bar prices are already in excess of 50p per unit. 2. There's more to the university experience than lectures, tutorials, assignments and exams. 3. Students pay heavily for the privilege of going to university. 4. There is a 'work hard, play hard' culture, and thesouth clearly only sees one side of that. From the sidelines
  • Score: -5

9:42am Fri 1 Aug 14

Dai Rear says...

Do not exclude the possibility that those whose fatal liver conditions are caused by alcohol are actually "drinking themselves to death". There is still stigma attached to suicide which is absent from "death by natural causes"
Do not exclude the possibility that those whose fatal liver conditions are caused by alcohol are actually "drinking themselves to death". There is still stigma attached to suicide which is absent from "death by natural causes" Dai Rear
  • Score: -1

11:18am Fri 1 Aug 14

thesouth says...

From the sidelines wrote:
thesouth wrote:
Hopefully this will include bars. Wish they would price students out of the alcohol market, after all, aren't they at uni to study? It appears as though they think uni is a right they have and with that right 'I have a right to get wasted and be a **** for three years'
What an unbelievable dumb comment, from someone who presumably lacked the intelligence to go to university and has been bitter ever since.

1. Bar prices are already in excess of 50p per unit.
2. There's more to the university experience than lectures, tutorials, assignments and exams.
3. Students pay heavily for the privilege of going to university.
4. There is a 'work hard, play hard' culture, and thesouth clearly only sees one side of that.
Speak for your self. You assume too much.....

Firstly I did go to uni and that's how I have first hand knowledge of this, I'm not just a spectator. My uni peers would literally spend all their loan money on nights out and booze and then moan at the end of the year they have no money.
Secondly, because I actually studied and didn't get wasted I got a job as soon as I left uni and work in an industry that includes dealing with students, their crime and their lack of personal responsibility.
Thirdly where has 'work hard play hard' become the point of uni?? Isn't uni for learning or has that become a sad thing of the past??

Thanks for your assuming comments though :)
[quote][p][bold]From the sidelines[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thesouth[/bold] wrote: Hopefully this will include bars. Wish they would price students out of the alcohol market, after all, aren't they at uni to study? It appears as though they think uni is a right they have and with that right 'I have a right to get wasted and be a **** for three years'[/p][/quote]What an unbelievable dumb comment, from someone who presumably lacked the intelligence to go to university and has been bitter ever since. 1. Bar prices are already in excess of 50p per unit. 2. There's more to the university experience than lectures, tutorials, assignments and exams. 3. Students pay heavily for the privilege of going to university. 4. There is a 'work hard, play hard' culture, and thesouth clearly only sees one side of that.[/p][/quote]Speak for your self. You assume too much..... Firstly I did go to uni and that's how I have first hand knowledge of this, I'm not just a spectator. My uni peers would literally spend all their loan money on nights out and booze and then moan at the end of the year they have no money. Secondly, because I actually studied and didn't get wasted I got a job as soon as I left uni and work in an industry that includes dealing with students, their crime and their lack of personal responsibility. Thirdly where has 'work hard play hard' become the point of uni?? Isn't uni for learning or has that become a sad thing of the past?? Thanks for your assuming comments though :) thesouth
  • Score: 11

11:24am Fri 1 Aug 14

forest hump says...

thesouth wrote:
From the sidelines wrote:
thesouth wrote:
Hopefully this will include bars. Wish they would price students out of the alcohol market, after all, aren't they at uni to study? It appears as though they think uni is a right they have and with that right 'I have a right to get wasted and be a **** for three years'
What an unbelievable dumb comment, from someone who presumably lacked the intelligence to go to university and has been bitter ever since.

1. Bar prices are already in excess of 50p per unit.
2. There's more to the university experience than lectures, tutorials, assignments and exams.
3. Students pay heavily for the privilege of going to university.
4. There is a 'work hard, play hard' culture, and thesouth clearly only sees one side of that.
Speak for your self. You assume too much.....

Firstly I did go to uni and that's how I have first hand knowledge of this, I'm not just a spectator. My uni peers would literally spend all their loan money on nights out and booze and then moan at the end of the year they have no money.
Secondly, because I actually studied and didn't get wasted I got a job as soon as I left uni and work in an industry that includes dealing with students, their crime and their lack of personal responsibility.
Thirdly where has 'work hard play hard' become the point of uni?? Isn't uni for learning or has that become a sad thing of the past??

Thanks for your assuming comments though :)
Brilliant response! Unfortunately, there are those who comment on this site who assume all who contribute are uneducated wasters.
[quote][p][bold]thesouth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]From the sidelines[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thesouth[/bold] wrote: Hopefully this will include bars. Wish they would price students out of the alcohol market, after all, aren't they at uni to study? It appears as though they think uni is a right they have and with that right 'I have a right to get wasted and be a **** for three years'[/p][/quote]What an unbelievable dumb comment, from someone who presumably lacked the intelligence to go to university and has been bitter ever since. 1. Bar prices are already in excess of 50p per unit. 2. There's more to the university experience than lectures, tutorials, assignments and exams. 3. Students pay heavily for the privilege of going to university. 4. There is a 'work hard, play hard' culture, and thesouth clearly only sees one side of that.[/p][/quote]Speak for your self. You assume too much..... Firstly I did go to uni and that's how I have first hand knowledge of this, I'm not just a spectator. My uni peers would literally spend all their loan money on nights out and booze and then moan at the end of the year they have no money. Secondly, because I actually studied and didn't get wasted I got a job as soon as I left uni and work in an industry that includes dealing with students, their crime and their lack of personal responsibility. Thirdly where has 'work hard play hard' become the point of uni?? Isn't uni for learning or has that become a sad thing of the past?? Thanks for your assuming comments though :)[/p][/quote]Brilliant response! Unfortunately, there are those who comment on this site who assume all who contribute are uneducated wasters. forest hump
  • Score: 4

11:42am Fri 1 Aug 14

KayleighJade says...

Putting up the prices of booze won't help anyone and is just unfair to those who do drink responsibly.

People who crave alcohol will get it, by any means necessary, all this is going to do is encourage crime for them to get money to get their more expensive booze.
Putting up the prices of booze won't help anyone and is just unfair to those who do drink responsibly. People who crave alcohol will get it, by any means necessary, all this is going to do is encourage crime for them to get money to get their more expensive booze. KayleighJade
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Dai Rear says...

"If the Government set a MUP at 50p, the impact on heavy drinking liver patients would be at least 200 times higher than low risk moderate drinkers, who pay on average £1.10 per unit of alcohol."
I've just looked at a standard bottle of wine. It has 10.1 units. So these academics are taking an average bottle of wine price @ £11.11. Theirs may be. Most of us spend under a fiver. Get your figures correct, learned folk, before you make your recommendations. Incidentally vodka is taxed much more highly than wine so where 33p comes from, I'm unsure.
"If the Government set a MUP at 50p, the impact on heavy drinking liver patients would be at least 200 times higher than low risk moderate drinkers, who pay on average £1.10 per unit of alcohol." I've just looked at a standard bottle of wine. It has 10.1 units. So these academics are taking an average bottle of wine price @ £11.11. Theirs may be. Most of us spend under a fiver. Get your figures correct, learned folk, before you make your recommendations. Incidentally vodka is taxed much more highly than wine so where 33p comes from, I'm unsure. Dai Rear
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Fri 1 Aug 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

Dai Rear wrote:
"If the Government set a MUP at 50p, the impact on heavy drinking liver patients would be at least 200 times higher than low risk moderate drinkers, who pay on average £1.10 per unit of alcohol."
I've just looked at a standard bottle of wine. It has 10.1 units. So these academics are taking an average bottle of wine price @ £11.11. Theirs may be. Most of us spend under a fiver. Get your figures correct, learned folk, before you make your recommendations. Incidentally vodka is taxed much more highly than wine so where 33p comes from, I'm unsure.
Most wine is a fiver or more. Under the proposed rules there won't be wine around any more for less than a fiver. That's fine by me.
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: "If the Government set a MUP at 50p, the impact on heavy drinking liver patients would be at least 200 times higher than low risk moderate drinkers, who pay on average £1.10 per unit of alcohol." I've just looked at a standard bottle of wine. It has 10.1 units. So these academics are taking an average bottle of wine price @ £11.11. Theirs may be. Most of us spend under a fiver. Get your figures correct, learned folk, before you make your recommendations. Incidentally vodka is taxed much more highly than wine so where 33p comes from, I'm unsure.[/p][/quote]Most wine is a fiver or more. Under the proposed rules there won't be wine around any more for less than a fiver. That's fine by me. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 1

12:23pm Fri 1 Aug 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

Dai Rear wrote:
Do not exclude the possibility that those whose fatal liver conditions are caused by alcohol are actually "drinking themselves to death". There is still stigma attached to suicide which is absent from "death by natural causes"
Absolute tosh. Unless you actually have proof of something, don't say it.

What is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: Do not exclude the possibility that those whose fatal liver conditions are caused by alcohol are actually "drinking themselves to death". There is still stigma attached to suicide which is absent from "death by natural causes"[/p][/quote]Absolute tosh. Unless you actually have proof of something, don't say it. What is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: -1

1:01pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Dai Rear says...

WalkingOnAWire wrote:
Dai Rear wrote:
Do not exclude the possibility that those whose fatal liver conditions are caused by alcohol are actually "drinking themselves to death". There is still stigma attached to suicide which is absent from "death by natural causes"
Absolute tosh. Unless you actually have proof of something, don't say it.

What is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
If you persist in doing something you have been told is fatal there is, you say, so very stridently, no possibility that you wish to achieve that of which you have been warned? Would you say "but I wish to kill myself"?
Would that not defeat your object.? Why does this make you so angry? I am aware of people who have crashed a car killing themselves, intoxicated, although I accept this may be equally due to life insurance exclusion clauses.
Most wine isn't a "fiver or more" actually but what does evidence matter to you? Again, why are you so angry?
[quote][p][bold]WalkingOnAWire[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: Do not exclude the possibility that those whose fatal liver conditions are caused by alcohol are actually "drinking themselves to death". There is still stigma attached to suicide which is absent from "death by natural causes"[/p][/quote]Absolute tosh. Unless you actually have proof of something, don't say it. What is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.[/p][/quote]If you persist in doing something you have been told is fatal there is, you say, so very stridently, no possibility that you wish to achieve that of which you have been warned? Would you say "but I wish to kill myself"? Would that not defeat your object.? Why does this make you so angry? I am aware of people who have crashed a car killing themselves, intoxicated, although I accept this may be equally due to life insurance exclusion clauses. Most wine isn't a "fiver or more" actually but what does evidence matter to you? Again, why are you so angry? Dai Rear
  • Score: 1

2:48pm Fri 1 Aug 14

megacycle says...

"Researchers studied the amount and type of alcohol consumed by 404 liver patients and asked how much they paid for the booze."

did they also ask what it would have to cost to stop them drinking? MUP is a deeply flawed policy, addiction is too powerful to be beaten by cost.

studies should focus more on the social and psychological reasons for excessive drinking, and the effects of advertising-- alcohol is always portrayed as fundamental to sharing good times with friends etc. this association is contrary to its depressant properties.
"Researchers studied the amount and type of alcohol consumed by 404 liver patients and asked how much they paid for the booze." did they also ask what it would have to cost to stop them drinking? MUP is a deeply flawed policy, addiction is too powerful to be beaten by cost. studies should focus more on the social and psychological reasons for excessive drinking, and the effects of advertising-- alcohol is always portrayed as fundamental to sharing good times with friends etc. this association is contrary to its depressant properties. megacycle
  • Score: 3

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