The UK Government has today outlined its long awaited plans to tackle what it sees as the growing problem of alcohol misuse in the country - a problem estimated to cost the UK £20 billion a year.

Heading the list of problems the alcohol policy document wishes to target is binge-drinking among the young. Measures proposed in the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy include action by alcohol producers and retailers, as well as action on the part of the government, police and councils.

Proposed measures include: a plan to target pubs and shops suspected of selling alcohol to under-18s or to those already drunk; greater use of exclusion orders and fixed-penalty fines for alcohol-related anti-social behaviour; the use of community wardens to patrol areas such as taxi ranks at night and simpler "sensible drinking" messages from the government including better alcohol education in schools.

However, alcohol producers are also to be targeted with a review of the code of practice for TV advertising to ensure it does not target young drinkers or glamorise drinking. The Strategy also calls for a "social responsibility charter" for drinks producers which includes providing clear product information and health warnings.

At the retailer level a "code of good conduct" scheme for shops, pubs and clubs, again including the provision of information on alcohol is included in the Strategy.
A full review of the Strategy will be available on just-drinks tomorrow.