UK drinking could cause a quarter million extra deaths - 23 Feb 2011  
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UK drinking could cause a quarter million extra deaths. A report in the February 21 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet states that without immediate government intervention, up to 250,000 people could die in England and Wales of alcohol-related disease over the next two decades. The report’s prominent authors include past president of the Royal College of Physicians, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, as well as Dr. Nick Sheron from the University of Southampton, and Professor Chris Hawkey of Queen’s Medical Center at University Hospital in Nottingham. They state that up to 30,000 deaths result from liver disease in England and Wales each year, most of which are attributed to alcohol abuse. In fact, the number of people who lose their lives to liver disease has doubled since 1986.

The authors also cite statistics from France where drinking and liver disease have both drastically decreased, thanks to stringent government regulations on alcohol marketing such as banning alcohol broadcast advertising and sports sponsorship. With the report recommendations including a strong recommendation for steep price increases to help deter alcohol sales, Sir Richard Thompson, current president of the Royal College of Physicians, stated, “Just as the government would expect us to treat our patients with effective medicines, we expect the government to take much stronger action to protect people from alcohol-related harm.”

We thank Professor Sir Gilmore, Dr. Sheron and Professor Hawkey for your informed voices of concern as well as The Lancet for publishing this call for stricter regulations to protect citizens’ health. May we all join in the call to implement legislation hastening the day that communities in the United Kingdom and throughout the world celebrate being alcohol-free.
::: Killers :::
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