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23 February 2012, 07:57
Scientists at Newcastle Uni say plans to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol will have 'limited impact'.
Researchers say a '50p per unit' rule should be brought in instead - which won't really affect everyday drinkers but will target binge drinkers.
From the 6th of April, shops in England won't be able to sell a one-litre bottle of vodka for less than £10 - and a can of lager for less than 38p.
The study saw researchers go into 29 shops in Newcastle where they found 2,000 promotions on offer - but only 2% were at below-cost price.
Alcohol abuse costs the NHS £2.7bn a year - with one person dying every 18 hours from alcohol-related conditions in the North East.
Dr Jean Adams from Newcastle lead the research and said:
"The effect of price on alcohol consumption has been documented clearly: when the price of alcohol increases, consumption decreases; whereas when price decreases, consumption increases.
Setting the minimum alcohol price at below-cost price will not deter binge drinkers, as very little alcohol on sale will actually have to increase in price."