LONDON: Britain's Department of Health on Tuesday published stage one of an exploration into the promotion of alcoholic beverages, conducted on its behalf by the School of Health and Related Research at Sheffield University

Introduced by the minister of state for health, Dawn Primarolo, the report is portrayed as a consultation document.

She seeks input by "all those concerned with the problems of alcohol-related harm", promising "we will take account of all these views, along with the developing evidence, in our future decisions". 

The report concludes that drink consumption would be lessened by raising prices but says nothing about possible substitution to other forms of substance. It does suggest young binge drinkers tend to go for cheap [and hence often little-advertised] brands. 

It also suggests there is "conclusive evidence of a small association" between advertising promotion and consumption.

But the study acknowledges that no causal evidence is available to show a direct link between the promotion and consumption of alcohol, and that "further research for establishing a definite causal relationship is required". 

The consultation is open to responses for twelve weeks to 14 October 2008. They can be submitted online to:

A range of documents relating to the consultation can be downloaded by clicking here.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff