Health bosses look at new alcohol moves

HEALTH chiefs in the east are debating controversial issues about alcohol today.

HEALTH chiefs in the east are debating controversial issues about alcohol today.

Radical ideas such as those recently proposed in Scotland to set a minimum price for some alcohol are among the topics being discussed as part of the Big Drink Debate.

The East of England Strategic Health Authority is running the survey to discover how people in the area want the problems causes by alcohol to be tackled.

Dr Simon How, public health programme manager for the East of England public health directorate, said the results would be used to help shape future policy decisions.

He added: “We can use the survey to get an understanding of what people think and their drinking patterns. It will help us run campaigns and also work to raise the profile of alcohol-related harm.

“It will also gain public opinion on topics such as alcohol cost per unit and alcohol advertising.

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“Hopefully we will learn what people in the east think.”

Dr How said so far two thirds of the around 2,000 people who had responded to the survey had been women, so organisers were particularly keen to get more men to give their views.

Men are twice as likely to die of alcohol related causes. In 2007 there were 5,732 alcohol-related deaths in men nationally and 2,992 in women.

To take part in the debate visit www.bigdrinkdebate.org before the end of March.

Does more need to be done to tackle alcohol abuse? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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