The UK Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has added its voice to calls for tougher action on alcohol sales, including a minimum price and tighter advertising rules.

Young people's attitude to alcohol has been highlighted as the main concern for the ACMD in its new report, Pathways to Problems 2009. 

"The increase in the reporting of alcohol-related illness, injury and crime means our main concern remains young people's interaction with alcohol, particularly around its promotion and availability," said the body of independent advisers today (29 March).

The report, which is follow-up to a similar study in 2006, puts more pressure on ministers to show that they are taking a tough attitude towards alcohol misuse.

The ACDM joined health groups and some politicians in calling for a minimum price on alcoholic drinks, a review of the Licensing Act and a stricter code on advertising of drinks.

It also called on the Government to press ahead with lowering the drink drive limit and to be "more proactive intervention by the government in limiting the promotion of excessive drinking at further education establishments".

Universities, it said, should be encouraged to "withdraw financial support from sports and other clubs that promote irresponsible drinking".

The Council commended last week's 2% above inflation duty tax rise on alcohol as a step in the right direction.