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Thursday, 4 February 2010

Irresponsible drinks promotions in the capital

Shocking article in the South Wales Echo today which reveals Cardiff clubs offering deals to lure people in like 10 drinks for £10.

It is no surprise that young people are drawn to alcohol as all these promotional activities serve to normalise alcohol as an essential part of every day life.

The truth is, there is nothing glamorous about drinking too much alcohol – it wrecks health, lives and families.

As a GP I see many families torn apart by alcohol problems. Alcohol often plays a major part in domestic violence and the breakdown of relationships.

I see many patients suffering ill effects because of alcohol. Many are disbelieving when I point out the effect of alcohol on their condition – “everyone I know drinks like I do, many drink more”, they say.

It is not infrequent to find patients with fatty liver in their 30s and 40s, and when asked about previous alcohol consumption often describe heavy or binge drinking when a student in their 20s.

The misuse of alcohol is related to over 60 medical conditions including heart and liver disease, diabetes, strokes and mental health problems – it costs the NHS millions of pounds every year and is linked to accidents and street violence.

In a bid to tackle the soaring cost of alcohol-related harm, particularly in young people, BMA Cymru Wales calls for a total ban on all promotional deals like happy hours, two-for-one purchases and ladies’ free entry nights.

There can be no more softly, softly approach. The affordability of alcohol must be tackled head on.

What do you think about drink promotions?

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