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Minimum unit price on alcohol would affect heavy drinkers 200 times more than moderate drinkers, study finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4951 (Published 01 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4951
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol would affect harmful drinkers 200 times more than low risk drinkers, a new study has concluded.

The study1—published in Clinical Medicine, the peer review journal for the Royal College of Physicians—said that a minimum unit pricing policy for alcohol was “exquisitely targeted” at the heaviest drinkers with cirrhosis. Researchers from the University of Southampton studied the amount and type of alcohol drunk by 404 patients with a range of liver disease in a large teaching hospital and asked the patients how much they paid for alcohol.

They found that patients with alcohol related cirrhosis drank on average the equivalent of four bottles of vodka each week and bought the …

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