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Alcohol

Volume 702: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether United Kingdom supermarkets have ceased selling alcohol to teenagers at below cost. [HL3615]

It is illegal to sell alcohol to those under the age of 18. The Government take underage drinking extremely seriously. The National Alcohol Strategy, Safe. Sensible. Social, published in June 2007, focuses action on three groups most at risk, which are 18 to 24 year-old binge drinkers, harmful drinkers whose drinking is damaging their health, often without them realising it and young people under 18 who drink alcohol.

In relation to your reference to price, the Government are aware of concerns regarding the price of alcohol through Safe. Sensible. Social. The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy, committed to carrying out an independent review of the relationship between alcohol price, promotion and harm, and following public consultation, will consider the need for regulatory change in the future, if necessary. This review is being led by the Department of Health and we anticipate publishing the reviews findings in the summer of 2008.

In addition, the Government are also committed to carrying out a review and consultation on the effectiveness of the alcohol industry’s social responsibility standards document in contributing to a reduction in alcohol harm, and following public consultation, will consider the need for regulatory change in the future, if necessary. We anticipate publishing the review's findings shortly.