British Beer & Pub Association asks critics to check their facts

British Beer & Pub Association asks critics to check their facts

The British Beer & Pub Association has said that alcohol consumption in the UK fell by its sharpest rate for 60 years in 2009.

Alcohol consumption sunk back to the equivalent of 8.4 litres of pure alcohol per person last year, according to figures published today (3 September) by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). It is the lowest level since 2000 and the biggest year-on-year fall since 1948.

The BBPA used the figures, contained in its 2010 Handbook, to show that alcohol consumption is not spiralling out of control, as some health and medical groups have suggested.

"These figures will confound many pundits, as yet again they confirm that as a nation, we are not drinking more," said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds. "Those who suggest otherwise need to focus on the hard facts."

Publication of the handbook comes less than 24 hours after Scotland's Government said that it wanted to introduce a minimum price on drinks of GBP0.45 per alcohol unit.

Across the UK, ministers estimate that alcohol misuse costs the country's health service GBP2.7bn (US$4.01bn) annually. Senior health professionals have warned that around 10m adults regularly drink more than the Government's recommended daily limit.

The UK Government in Westminster is expected to announce plans to control alcohol sales in England and Wales in the coming weeks.

For a full copy of the BBPA's Handbook, contact the BBPA.