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Adrian Chiles wants to “know why this multi-billion pound industry [Britain’s alcohol producers] is allowed to regulate itself – make up its own rules.” He discusses with others, both professionals and average people, the profound impact that alcohol is having on the country. This includes the rising number of alcoholics needing a liver transplant, the community’s confusion around ‘a standard drink’, and the hard-to-read designs that the alcohol industry uses for their warning labels.

Published in 2020

Viewing Time: 28 minutes


“It’s not just these new low-risk drinking guidelines that the industry refused to embrace, it’s also opposed proposals designed to tackle the link between low prices and alcohol harm in England. Alcohol is now more affordable than it’s been at any time in the last 30 years, often costing little more than soft drinks.”

“Some products on the shelves don’t actually provide health information on the label, but they advise customers to visit an alcohol producer or industry website for information. It’s an unreasonable assumption, especially in crowded shows and supermarkets, are going to check up websites every time they purchase an individual drink. Currently, there is no mandatory regulation around health information, units, and guidelines on alcohol products in the U.K. It’s entirely self-regulated by the alcohol industry.”

Screenshot from Britain's Drink Problem; Alcohol & Drinking Culture

“Why is it that we understand public health messages like eating 5 a day and stopping smoking, but never quite get our heads around what doctors say is a safe level of drinking? Why don’t alcohol producers spell out what the guidelines are?”


“Cameron proposed something called ‘Minimum Unit Pricing‘. The thinking was that this could push up the price of the cheapest booze, the booze often associated with problem drinking. It was a proposal welcomed by many in the medical profession.

It’s a tax which is focused on really heavy drinkers. Most people will not drink white sider, they simply won’t drink it at 16 pence a unit. Well, if that goes up to 50 pence a unit, that’s a three-fold increase in price that’s going to have a very marked impact on their behaviour … MUP is the most effective way to reduce alcohol-related harm.”

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UK Drinking Culture

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