Supermarkets Making It Easier For Children To Afford Cheap Alcohol

Supermarkets are facing heavy criticism over claims that their cheap prices on alcohol are driving binge drinking among teenagers.
Charity Alcohol Concern have claimed that children as young as 12 can buy up to 17 units of alcohol – four times the daily limit for adult men – with their average weekly pocket money of £9.53.
Alcohol Concern collected the pricing data this month from London supermarket chains that had most frequently failed the Home Office’s under-age test purchasing campaign in 2006.
Low price deals at Sainsbury’s, the Co-op and Somerfield were singled out by the charity, which included a 350ml bottle of Bacardi on offer for just £7.29 at the Co-op – more than treble the weekly limit for men and quadruple that for women .
Beer is often sold as a loss leader by supermarkets, a practice that has angered health campaigners.
A Competition Commission report recently found that the four biggest supermarkets sold £12.7 million worth of beer, wine and spirits well below cost price during the 2006 World Cup . However, the figures were disputed by some supermarkets .
The charity claimed: “The very keen affordability of alcohol helps drive underage consumption and its attendant harms,” the charity stated.
“Increasing taxes on alcohol is therefore vital to cutting down on the amounts pupils are able to drink .”
However, the report does acknowledge that the off-trade “has made significant progress in cutting down on under age sales” since 2006.

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