More needs to be done to educate the public about the dangers of alcohol, according to a leading expert.

This week is Alcohol Awareness Week, which aims to teach people the facts about alcohol and the risks involved in its misuse. This year, the week’s theme is knowing the Risks and focuses on the impact alcohol has on health.

To mark the occasion, Professor Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance has called on the Government to do more to warn people about how dangerous drinking can be.

Prof Gilmore, who is also a special advisor to the Royal College of Physicians, said: “The public have the right to know about the health risks associated with alcohol, so that they are empowered to make informed choices about their drinking. Yet worryingly, awareness of the risks is very low. For example, only one in ten people in the UK are aware of the link between alcohol and cancer.”

During Alcohol Awareness Week, charities, local authorities, the NHS and treatment services are banding together to publicise the link between alcohol and a number of health issues, including heart disease, mental health issues, cancer and liver disease.

Drinking kills 23,000 a year

Every year, nearly 23,000 people in England die as a result of alcohol use. Across the UK, someone will die from alcohol-related causes every single hour.

Prof Gilmore welcomed the awareness week but said that the Government needed to help launch some long-term national campaigns to highlight the dangers of heavy drinking. He also recommended bringing in compulsory labels warning of the health risks for all alcoholic products.

He said: “Once introduced, these measures will lead to a population more in control of their health, and better able to avoid the health harms associated with alcohol. There can be no rationale for withholding from the public information to help them make more informed choices – the government should introduce these measures now.”

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