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Banning “below cost” alcohol will have little effect on consumption, say researchers

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1413 (Published 24 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1413
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

Attempts to reduce alcohol misuse in England and Wales by banning sales of “below cost” drinks will have limited effect, concludes research carried out at the University of Newcastle.

The study, believed to be the first in the United Kingdom to examine the effect of discounts on alcohol prices, found that only 2% of drinks in price promotions sold for less than the tax paid on them, estimated at around 21p (€0.25; $0.33) to 28p per unit, and would therefore be banned. However, if instead a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol was set, more than a …

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