Weaker beers, ciders, wines and spirits are what is needed to tackle drink-related health problems says the Local Government Association (LGA) and is calling on ministers to extend tax breaks on lower-strength 2.8% beers to include ciders and wines.
The call has been welcomed by industry bodies.
The cost to the NHS of dealing with excessive alcohol consumption is estimated to be £3.5bn a year, according to the LGA.
There is also a growing number of non-drinkers, with one in five adults (21%) saying they do not drink alcohol at all – up from 19% in 2005. Increasing the availability of zero alcohol and weaker strength drinks will help people live healthier lives by helping to control drinking levels and tackle the harm caused by excessive drinking.
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