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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 11:56 GMT
Newsnight alcohol special



A majority of people think that alcohol adverts should be banned from TV, according to an opinion poll conducted by ORB for BBC Newsnight.

When asked to agree or disagree with the statement adverts for alcohol should be banned from television 56% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement with 43% disagreeing.

A man drinks from a pint glass
The poll also revealed that a slim majority of people think the legal drinking age should be raised from 18 to 21 years.

51% agreed or strongly agreed with this as opposed to 47% who disagreed. The survey suggests that it is women more than men who are in favour of the change - 57% would like the age raised as opposed to 42% who disagree.

However a majority of men are opposed to such a change with 53% against raising the age and 46% in favour. A majority of those aged 18-24 are also opposed to a change in the law, (61% against and 39% in favour).

When asked about reports that in some supermarkets cans of beer are being sold for 22p, only just over a quarter of people (26%) said there is nothing wrong with this.

The largest group 30% felt that the supermarkets should act more responsibly and not do this but it is not for the government to prevent them.

Nearly a quarter of people (23%) thought the drink manufacturers should prevent beer being sold so cheaply.

Less than one fifth thought it was something the government should address. 17% reacted to cans of beer being sold for 22p by saying the government should introduce minimum price restrictions to prevent them.

The people surveyed did feel that alcohol causes the most widespread damage to families in Britain today.

44% blamed Alcohol Abuse, with 42% blaming Hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Only a few thought that soft Drugs (7%) or nicotine abuse (3%) caused the most widespread damage to families.

Finally when asked Which of the following do you think holds most responsibility for the problems of alcoholism and alcohol related crime in this country a clear majority, 53%, felt that individuals themselves were most to blame. 31% felt that poor parenting was to blame. Fewer than one in 10 felt that the drinks industry (8%) and the government (7%) were responsible.


Results are from a telephone survey conducted among 1,015 adults between 7 and 9 December, 2007. Participants were aged 18+ and live in Great Britain.

1 How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following?

The legal drinking age should be raised from 18 to 21 years

NET: Agree 51
Strongly agree 36
Agree 15
Disagree 27
Strongly disagree 20
NET: Disagree 47
Don't know/refused 1

Adverts for alcohol should be banned from television

NET: Agree 56
Strongly agree 36
Agree 20
Disagree 30
Strongly disagree 13
NET: Disagree 43
Don't know/refused 1

2 It's been reported that in some supermarkets cans of beer are being sold for 22p. Which of the following best describes your reaction to this?

The supermarkets should act more responsibly and not do this but it is not for the government to prevent them 30

There is nothing wrong with this 26

The drink manufacturers should prevent beer being sold so cheaply 23

The government should introduce minimum price restrictions to prevent them 17

None of these 2

Don't know 2

3 Which of the following do you think causes the most widespread damage to families in Britain today?

Alcohol abuse 44

Hard drugs such as cocaine / heroine 42

Soft drugs such as cannabis 7

Nicotine abuse 3

None of these 1

Refused/don't know 4

4 Which of the following do you think holds most responsibility for the problems of alcoholism and alcohol related crime in this country?

Individuals themselves - we all make our own choices in life 53

Poor parenting 31

The drinks industry - retailers and producers 8

The government 7

None of these 1

Don't know 1



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