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UK doctors urge higher taxes on alcohol


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The British Medical Association lobbied Thursday for higher taxes on alcohol, an end to happy hours, and a steep reduction in the permitted blood alcohol-limit for drivers.


A report by the group said new laws were needed to combat an epidemic of alcohol misuse that is costing health and law enforcement services billions of dollars a year.


It comes at a crucial juncture in the national debate about how to tackle Britain's booze culture ? one which has lawmakers re-examining everything from super-size glasses at fancy wine bars to super-cheap ciders at discount supermarkets.


British supermarket giant Tesco PLC said Thursday it wanted to work with the government on new laws to ensure what it called the "responsible pricing" of alcohol, something campaigners say shows a consensus is building on how to handle the nation's drinking problem.


"As doctors we see first hand how alcohol misuse destroys lives. It causes family breakdowns, is a major factor in domestic violence, ruins job prospects, is often related to crime and disorderly behavior and it kills," said Dr. Vivienne Nathanson, the British Medical Association's head of science and ethics.


The association's report makes grim reading. Britain is among of the hardest drinking countries in Europe, and the country's alcohol-related death rate almost doubled between 1991 and 2005 ? from 6.9 to 12.9 per 100,000 people.


Britain's hospitals are groaning under the strain. The association cited a 2004 government study putting alcohol's cost to the country's health, law enforcement and criminal justice services at billions of pounds a year.


Another study estimated that 70 percent of all peak-time emergency room admissions were linked to alcohol. London's ambulance service has devoted one of its vehicles, known colloquially as the "booze bus," exclusively to peeling intoxicated revelers off the streets.

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I blame the parents would you let your son and daughter drink out on the streets?


It's difficult to stop them these days because it is the norm and cool but you have to ask yourself have you tried your best to discourage your own kids?


Do you know what they get up to have you asked them?


GPs are seeing the damage, they have to pick up the pieces not now but in twenty years time.


[ 22.02.2008, 05:21: Message edited by: Geoff Settle ]

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Are they naive to think the taxes will go back to the NHS? Any tax rise just goes into the pot. No guarantee with Labour that it will get spent as they want. I would go as far as to say that they'll probably pinch it for somethign else.


Secondly, I drink. I am no yob, dont throw up in peoples gardens etc. Why should I pay more tax?

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I like my cheap booze. I don't drink that much but why should I have to pay more just because the authorities can't control the idiots who drink to excess?


There are plenty of laws in place to deal with such behaviour,,,, let them use them instead

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OK so we have shops selling booze to underage kids. We have underage kids buying booze. We have parents supplying their kids with booze. We have kids congregating on street corners and in parks getting absolutely blotto, We have antisocial behaviour sometimes resulting in someones death. They are taking up the time of the police, paramedics and A&E staff ..........and the answer is to put up the price of alcohol :confused: :confused: :redmad:

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But fags are nearly a fiver a packet and they all seem to smoke. Money isn't the problem to these kids, it is the availablity thats the issue. If we went back to having proper specialised Off Licenses and off sales in pubs rather than everyman and his dog selling the stuff; it might be a start!

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