Reach welcomes the news that the Coalition Government is to introduce
legislation setting a minimum alcohol price of 40p per unit in England.
charity has been campaigning since 2005 to highlight the damage caused by
super-strength lagers and ciders and its research revealed that these drinks
were killing more homeless people than crack cocaine or heroin.
Reach has been calling for the government to increase the price on
super-strength lagers and ciders as all the scientific research – such as a
recent Sheffield University report – indicates that raising prices cuts
introductions of minimum pricing will see some super-strength products double
in price. A three litre bottle of 7.5% White Ace cider which contains 22.5
units of alcohol and retails at £3.89 will go up to £9.
Nicholas, a spokesman for Thames Reach said: “The introduction of minimum
pricing is great news and is one that will reduce the misery caused by
super-strength drinks. This proposal would mean that
the incredibly cheap and strong super-strength ciders and lagers would be hit
the hardest. We are not anti-alcohol, but we see the terrible damage these
super-strength drinks do to homeless people.
“We’ve seen some drinks companies begin to behave more responsibly
– Heineken removed their super-strength ciders from sale following a visit to
one of our hostels – but unfortunately, others continue to produce drinks which
cause terrible health problems and anti-social behaviour.
“Unregulated cash and carry businesses currently promote cheap and
very strong super-strength ciders to corner stores – drinks that are relatively
new to the market and weren’t available a generation ago – and these drinks
have become the drink of choice for many people with alcohol problems.
“We don’t want to challenge the UK’s traditional beer and cider
drinking culture but it’s time to bring about an end to the deadly trade in
super-strength drinks. The introduction of minimum pricing will see people
switch to cheaper premium and regular strength drinks and we hope that it
brings about the demise of the super-strength drinks industry.”