The London Times reports:
Middle-class wine drinkers will be the focus of government plans to make drunkenness as socially unacceptable as smoking, The Times has learnt.
Under the plans published today, a fresh audit is to be conducted by the Government into the overall costs of alcohol abuse to society and the National Health Service.
â€œWe want to target older drinkers, those that are maybe drinking one or two bottles of wine at home each evening,â€ a Whitehall source said. â€œThey do not realise the damage they are doing to their health and that they risk developing liver disease. …
The move comes as The Times has been told that the British Medical Association is to investigate measures used in other countries to curb excessive alcohol consumption. Doctorsâ€™ leaders are also calling for pubs and restaurants to display warnings stating how many units of alcohol are contained in drinks served by the glass.
Todayâ€™s strategy, by the Home Office and the Department of Health, broadens the Governmentâ€™s offensive against excessive drinking, with the focus moving beyond teenagers and the binge-drinkers to include those regularly sipping wine at home.
As part of the strategy, ministers wish to highlight the increasing burden that drink-related disease is placing on the NHS, which four years ago was estimated to be costing between Â£1.3 billion and Â£1.7 billion. Ministers want drunkenness in public to be as socially unacceptable in ten yearsâ€™ time as smoking or drink-driving is today.
Last night Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, gave his full support to the focus on the health costs of heavy drinking. â€œWe really need the spotlight more on health. While crime and antisocial behaviour is important itâ€™s too easy to concentrate on that because itâ€™s somebody else causing the trouble.
â€œWhen you look at health itâ€™s more uncomfortable because thereâ€™s a very significant percentage of the population already drinking at potentially hazardous levels.â€
With alcohol costing 54 per cent less in real terms than in 1980, Professor Gilmore, a liver specialist, also called on the Chancellor to raise drink taxes.
Socialized medicine demonstrably involves the surrender of private liberty to the nanny state now in charge of paying your doctor bill.