The European Spirits Organisation (CEPS) has warned the European Commission not to push EU member states into raising alcohol prices to control problem drinking.

Its comments follow the release of a Commission report last week, which concluded the "affordability of alcohol does impact on levels of harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption".

"It makes sense for policymakers to consider…measures affecting the price of alcohol…to help curb this phenomenon," it said.

CEPS scientific officer Gregor Zwirn told just-drinks today (17 April) that higher prices would least affect the two consumer groups most involved in problem drinking: young people and heavy drinkers.

Instead, CEPS suggests long-term education policies, starting at a young age, to tackle cultural forces encouraging alcohol misuse: "We need to make people aware of the risks and change their attitude: getting pissed is not so cool," said Zwirn.