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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 July 2007, 08:06 GMT 09:06 UK
Tax alcohol more, says top doctor
Sir Liam Donaldson
Sir Liam Donaldson wants more tax on alcohol for health reasons
Tax on alcohol should be increased to reduce the damage being caused to people's health, the Chief Medical Officer for England has said.

Sir Liam Donaldson told the Daily Telegraph he would "strongly commend" the use of tax as a deterrent to excessive drinking.

And he said a ban should be considered on drinks companies sponsoring sporting activities and fitness-linked events.

Sir Liam also said he would welcome a review of 24-hour licensing.

He said: "In our culture, getting drunk is seen as an exciting and status thing to do. We need to try and get away from that.

Under control

"I worry about the overall problem of alcohol misuse, the rising levels of cirrhosis.

"Tobacco is a good example of a public health problem that is in hand, but when we turn to obesity and alcohol misuse those are not yet anywhere near under control."

Sir Liam also spoke about the relaxation of licensing hours, a measure that was introduced in November 2005.

"Some of us worried about the decision when it was brought in and any review of the policy would be welcome."

He also added that changes in the law on sponsorship by drinks companies would be "fruitful".

He said: "It's something that worked with tobacco. I would say that there's fruitful things to be looked at in that territory."

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