Drinks watchdog the Portman Group has slammed proposals from the Alcohol Health Alliance to increase tax on alcohol as "illogical".
David Poley, Portman Group chief executive, said that while he shares the Alliance's concerns, it is important to consider the whole nation's drinking habits.
"Overall consumption is dropping, the number of harmful adult drinkers is falling and more children are abstaining than ever before.
Considering taxing adult drinkers to stop children breaking the law is illogicalDavid PoleyPortman Group
"These positive trends are being eclipsed by increasing consumption levels among 11-15 year-olds who do drink.
"The focus should be on limiting their ability to buy alcohol and educating them about responsible drinking.
"Considering taxing adult drinkers to stop children breaking the law is illogical.
"Especially as international comparisons prove that higher prices would not deter binge drinkers or people addicted to alcohol."
Poley also hit out at Alliance plans to curb alcohol advertising before the 9pm watershed. "Audience profiling currently provides an effective control on alcohol advertising.
"A watershed ban would take no account of teenagers watching television after 9pm or those viewing recorded programmes."