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Responsible Drinking

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to promote responsible drinking; and if she will make a statement. (110009)

The Government are serious about tackling alcohol misuse and reducing alcohol-related harms. The Know Your Limits campaign focuses on young people who are binge drinkers, because research shows that 18 to 24-year-olds are most likely to drink irresponsibly and cause harm to themselves and others. It aims to ensure that sufficient information exists to help everyone to become more aware of the risks to individual health and personal safety that alcohol misuse can bring, and to make informed choices on the basis of that information.

The campaign is designed also to reach a secondary audience of hazardous, harmful, dependent, and pregnant drinkers. These groups are being targeted through public relations and stakeholder work. Literature advising people how to drink sensibly has been produced by the Department, which targets these audiences.

We have seen a fall in the proportion of men drinking more than the daily benchmarks on at least one day in the previous week, from 39 per cent. in 2004 to 35 per cent. in 2005.

I am also pleased that the Drinkaware Trust has appointed as its new chair Debra Shipley, whom I very much look forward to working with as she takes the trust forward over the coming months.