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Minimum alcohol pricing delivers health benefits without penalising moderate drinkers, finds analysis

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2939 (Published 07 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2939
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

Placing a minimum price on a unit of alcohol delivers health benefits much greater than those predicted by the UK government’s theoretical model, concludes a new report by the independent UK Institute of Alcohol Studies, which used empirical data from Canada, where minimum pricing has been in place for decades.1

Most Canadian provinces have long exercised some form of government control over the distribution of alcohol through a mixture of government owned and privately owned outlets. Most provinces set minimum prices on a litre of wine, beer, and spirits. One province, Saskatchewan, adjusts minimum prices within drink categories according to alcohol content, a policy very similar to the UK proposal.

The UK government has used …

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