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Alcohol charity calls for curb on supermarket promotions

Published:  23 July, 2008

Addaction - Britain's biggest specialist drug and alcohol treatment agency - is calling for a ban on supermarket discounting following a growing trend in teenagers drinking heavily before going out on the town.

Staff at the charity's rehab centre for young people say they are seeing an increase in young people, particularly 14-16 year-olds, drinking cheap alcohol at home or in public places before going to bars and clubs where drinks can be as much as three times as expensive.

Around half of all Britain's drink sales are made at the six major supermarkets and off-sales promotions have been shown to increase sales by 25%.

Super-strength lager, cider and cheap bottles of vodka are easily available and alcohol is more affordable now than 25 years ago, the charity said.

The difference in price between discounted booze and premium price branded drinks sold in licensed venues has been identified as one of the reasons behind the growth in pre-loading.