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Minimum alcohol price would save UK lives, cut healthcare costs

(Reuters) Setting a minimum alcohol price of 45 pence ($0.73) a unit in Britain would cut deaths and hospital time among heavy drinkers yet have virtually no adverse impact on the pockets of moderate drinkers, researchers said on Monday.
In a study which calls into question a government decision last year to drop plans to set a minimum price for alcohol, researchers found it would have the greatest effect on the 5 percent of people who drink at rates classified as "harmful".
Petra Meier of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, who worked on the study, said the overall impact of a minimum price on moderate drinkers would be very small, while the large impact on harmful drinkers - men who drink more than 50 units a week and women who drink more than 35 - would lead to significantly lower rates of illness and premature death.
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