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A new charity has been launched today called Alcohol Research. Sounds like a hoot, doesn’t it? But as much as my twisted imagination would like to think so,  it’s not an excuse for a bunch of charity workers to get together and have regular boozing sessions. Far from it.

The charity has been set up to tackle some of the problems created by alcohol misuse in the UK. And if you’re into scary statistics, here’s one: the cost to the taxpayer of dealing with the consequences of excessive drinking is estimated to be around £7.3 billion. Blimey, that would help offset some of the national deficit, wouldn’t it? Forget austerity measures, let’s just stop people drinking themselves into oblivion.

The charity has kicked off with a study on the great British public’s attitude to a minimum pricing policy for alcohol – something this government has been talking about (but critics say isn’t worth the paper the recommendations are written on).

And guess what? Most of those who took part in the research weren’t just sceptical about raising the price of booze, but they didn’t fully understand the policy and its implications. Hmm, you don’t say.

Where you stand on minimum pricing depends on your relationship with alcohol, though, doesn’t it? If you are a non-to-moderate drinker who’s worried about the damage excessive alcohol consumption is doing to society (not to mention the economy) in general, then you’re probably going to be for it – in fact, you’re probably one of those who think the current thinking doesn’t go far enough.

If you’re more than fond of a tipple or four on more than the odd occasion, of course you’re not going to want prices to go up.

And if you’re a drinks manufacturer who sells cheap booze by the bucket-load to discount stores and supermarkets, you’re probably not going to be happy about any minimum-price-per-unit plans either.

So what’s the solution? You tell me. And don’t mention it to the alcohol researchers, but I’m just off for a G&T…