ONS: Alcohol consumption drops

28 January, 2010

The average amount of units drunk by adults is dropping, according to a new survey from the Office for National Statistics.

Smoking and Drinking Among Adults 2008, published today, shows that in 2008 adults consumed an average of 12.2 units of alcohol a week. This is down from an average of 13.5 units in 2006.

The annual report surveyed 14,630 people and it revealed professional adults drank more than manual workers, with 19% drinking on five or more days a week compared to 11% of manual workers.

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: “Today's figures confirm the continued fall in overall alcohol consumption in the UK and reflect changing consumer tastes around Europe with more people drinking at home and a preference for drinking alcohol with a meal in a restaurant.

“Overall alcohol consumption has been falling now for several years, suggesting government efforts to combat alcohol misuse should be focused on the minority of people who drink excessively, not the vast majority who enjoy a drink in moderation.”

Meanwhile overall smoking rates remained at its lowest recorded level at 21% of adults.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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