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24 November 2023
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Holding us back: Tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and drink

A new report published yesterday (20 November) by Action on Smoking Health (ASH), the Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) and Alcohol Alliance UK (AHA) has revealed the scale of economic harm caused collectively by tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and drinks – all causes of death and chronic disease.
The report shows that the wage penalty, unemployment and economic inactivity caused by tobacco, alcohol and obesity costs the UK economy an eye-watering £31bn and has led to an estimated 459,000 people out of work.

While any level of smoking is harmful, analysis for the report found that 43.3% of alcohol purchased by UK households, and 28.8% of food purchases, were over the Government’s guidelines on safe consumption of alcohol and saturated fat, free sugars or salt. This equates to £81.5bn being spent by consumers on products which harm them.

This report calls on government to put in place a coherent and strategic approach to rebalancing the profit-making powers of industries with the rights of people to live free, healthy and productive lives.

Read report
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