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French support alcohol price rise to boost health

The majority of the French people are in favour of raising the price of alcohol in a bid to improve public health, a new report has found.

According to a new poll, published this week by cancer-fighting group La Ligue National Contre Le Cancer (LLNCC), 54% of the public would be open to raising alcohol prices as a means of cutting public consumption for health reasons.

In the same study, 58% of people were open to the idea of “taxing products that contain alcohol” to pay for public health costs that are linked to excess alcohol consumption.

Young people aged 18-24 were especially likely to be in favour of raising alcohol prices, the poll found, with a significant 92% in support of the idea, and just 6% against.

Similarly, 81% of young people said they would be in favour of “labelling on alcohol drinks that highlighted the risks associated with alcohol consumption”, compared to 18% against this.

Just under two thirds (71%) of young people said that they would be in favour of a complete ban on alcohol advertising - including on the internet - compared to 28% who were against that idea.

The poll comes as alcohol consumption in France continues to drop - as it has been doing for the past 50 years.

Groups such as the LLNCC have sought to draw attention to the dangers of excess consumption, pointing out a link between alcoholism and cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon and rectum, pancreas, and even of the breast.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 3.3 million people die every year from complications linked to excess and abusive use of alcohol.

Some countries, including Scotland, have introduced measures such as a legal minimum amount per alcohol unit (50 pence per unit).

While France does not yet have such as stipulation, national health bodies recommend no more than 10 units of alcohol per week, the equivalent of 10 small glasses of wine (just over one bottle); or five pints of beer.

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