Trade slams notion of 'passive drinking'

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Domestic violence

Trade slams notion of 'passive drinking'
The trade has slammed the notion that "passive drinking" exists and that taxes should be raised to stop the damage done by it

The trade has slammed the notion that "passive drinking"​ exists and that taxes should be raised to stop the damage done by it.

A new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that taxes should be raised on alcohol to stop the harm caused to others by drinkers.

It cites examples such as domestic abuse and drink-drivers and said that passive drinking should be examined in the same light as passive smoking.

The report provides compelling evidence that that alcohol is now firmly in the firing line of the health lobbysists following the smoking ban.

"Third-party damage from alcohol is much greater - in terms of violence and the damage to unborn children, the first sexual experience and the percentage of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases,"​ said Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians and the Alcohol Health Alliance.

But the trade has hit back forcefully.


"Passive drinking is about as sensible an idea as passive eating or passive driving,"​ said British Beer and Pub Association director of communications Mark Hastings.

"Such an indiscriminate approach restricts the freedoms and hits the pockets of ordinary hard-working families.

"It also wastes huge amounts of Government time and taxpayers money.

"Most importantly, it totally fails to target and tackle the problem - this is about the bad and criminal behaviour of a few irresponsible individuals.

"Let's hold them to account and make them pay for their behaviour - not demonise the entire population of Britain."

Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, added: "The health lobby admit they want everyone to pay for the sins of a few.

"This is wrong and consumers will see it as an unfair attack on the innocent rather than a practical step to solve the problem.

"Alcohol misuse does cause problems.

"That's why we should all focus our efforts on educating and treating those who misuse alcohol. We should not punish millions of ordinary hard working families by increasing the financial burden they already face."

Caption: Is this what they mean by passive drinking?

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