Many people enjoy drinking alcohol at reasonable levels. However, some drink too much and more people than ever are suffering from alcohol related illnesses like liver disease. Alcohol can also generate drink-fuelled crime and disorder, putting people off going out at the weekend.
We asked you how excess drinking and its related problems could be reduced. We also asked:
1. What you think about alcohol advertising on TV and in cinemas, whether it should be banned like they are with tobacco, or whether you think adverts do not encourage people to drink more.
2. Whether special offers and discounts on alcohol in pubs (e.g. happy hours and ‘2 for 1’ offers) lead to people drinking too much, and therefore if they should be banned, or whether people regulate their own intake.
3. Whether you think that licenses should be limited meaning there are fewer pubs and clubs.
Your ideas helped us to concentrate on the issues that are most important to residents of Bristol and were fed into a wider government study. There was also an online questionnaire at www.bristolpartnership.org, funded from the Home Office Crime Reduction Fund. You can view the Bristol Partnership’s Alcohol harm reduction strategy here.
We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the Big Bristol Drink Debate. It generated a huge public response: 974 people responded to the questionnaire, and some also carried on the discussion online on the Viewfinder website. Clearly alcohol issues are important to a lot of people. A report presenting the full findings of the consultation is available here.
The Department of Health is consulting on how to manage the alcohol industry; the Big Bristol Drink Debate results will clearly be an important part of Bristol’s response. People’s comments raised some really interesting issues and, taken with the answers to the survey, the alcohol strategy group will be developing work to address your concerns.