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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 10:19 GMT
Alcohol health warnings 'planned'
Young Britons are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe
Health warnings could soon be slapped on all alcoholic drinks as part of government efforts to clampdown on binge-drinking.

A report in the Daily Mirror says ministers will announce plans to introduce the warnings next month.

Both the Department of Health and Downing Street have refused to be drawn on the proposals.

Surveys show young Britons are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe. Binge drinking can be bad for health.

Heavy drinking

Figures published last year showed British women between the ages of 18 and 24 down 203 litres of alcohol a year - the equivalent to more than five bottles of wine a week.

Women are advised to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol over the course of a week - the equivalent of seven pints of beer or 14 glasses of wine.

The report will be published shortly and we will have to wait and see
Department of Health
Men are advised to drink no more than 21 units over a week - just over 10 pints of beer or 21 glasses of wine.

Both sexes are warned against binge drinking - consuming more than six units in a single session if you are a woman and eight units in a single session of you are a man.

Binge drinking is estimated to cost Britain 20bn a year, in lost work days and extra health and police costs.

The government is drawing up an alcohol harm reduction strategy as part of efforts to tackle binge-drinking.

According to the Daily Mirror, the strategy will be published next month.

As well as health warnings on alcoholic drinks, the newspaper says ministers will spend millions on a hard-hitting campaign warning the public of the dangers of drinking too much.

It claims there will also be new rules aimed at encouraging pubs and clubs to clampdown on drunkenness.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "The Number 10 strategy unit is developing an alcohol strategy and is carefully considering the issues around alcohol use.

"The report will be published shortly and we will have to wait and see what recommendations it makes."

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