Alcohol tax 'will stop thousands being hurt in violence every year'
A small alcohol tax could cut the number of A&E visits caused by violent injury by more than 6,000 a year, research suggests.
Putting a duty of just 1% above inflation on drinks sold in shops, supermarkets, pubs and restaurants could be more effective than introducing a minimum price for a unit of alcohol, experts behind the study said.
Writing online in the journal Injury Prevention, they said thousands of visits to A&E in England and Wales every year could be stopped. But they also said cutting the inequalities between the rich and poor could have a dramatic effect.
The Cardiff University team looked at data for adults who had visited 100 A&E departments across England and Wales between 2005 and 2012.
In that time, nearly 300,000 visits were made to the departments for injuries caused by violence. Three-quarters of those treated were men aged 18 to 30.
Accompanying data on pricing showed that lower alcohol prices both in shops, bars and restaurants were linked to more attendances at A&E.
This held true even after taking into account of poverty, differences in household income, spending power and time of year.