The British Medical Association (BMA) has urged Members of the European Parliament (MEP) to do more to combat alcohol harms in Europe by introducing comprehensive, evidence-based population-level measures to reduce alcohol consumption.

The organisation’s remarks come ahead of the forthcoming European elections, forming part of their manifesto on raising standards of public health among the inhabitants of the 28 European Union (EU) Member States.

Alcohol policies identified by the BMA as priority areas for action include:

  • Introducing minimum unit pricing to reduce excessive consumption of cheaper, high alcohol content drinks.
  • Above inflation increases in alcohol taxes.
  • Implementing a maximum drink-drive limit of no more than 50mg/100ml alongside a harmonised penalty system with licence suspension and a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages at petrol stations and motorway service areas.
  • The random breath testing of drivers.
  • A comprehensive ban on all alcohol marketing communications and reductions in licensing hours.

The BMA hopes that this range of measures to reduce the availability, accessibility and promotion of alcohol will ultimately lead to significant improvements in the health of EU citizens over time.

For the full European Election Manifesto and press release, please visit the British Medical Association website.