The Wine and Spirit traders are dispirited and annoyed over the recent report by The World Health Organization, stating its intention to up the tax on alcohol in a bid to cut the harmful effects of passive drinking.
The report has sought to bring about parity in the treatment of smokers and drinkers', pointing out that passive drinking, which is most often ignored is a leading cause of domestic violence and accidents.
Elaborating on the effects of passive drinking, Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians and the Alcohol Health Alliance said, "Third-party damage from alcohol is much greater - in terms of violence and the damage to unborn children, the first sexual experience and the percentage of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases."
This has been vehemently criticized by the wine and spirit traders who have called it an arbitrary opinion. British Beer and Pub Association director of communications Mark Hastings said "Passive drinking is about as sensible an idea as passive eating or passive driving. Such an indiscriminate approach restricts the freedoms and hits the pockets of ordinary hard-working families. It also wastes huge amounts of Government time and taxpayers money.
In his opinion the present plan by the WHO puts all the drinkers in a bad light rather than segregate irresponsible behavior. "Let's hold them to account and make them pay for their behavior - not demonize the entire population of Britain," he said
Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, feels the same and said, "The health lobby admits they want everyone to pay for the sins of a few. This is wrong and consumers will see it as an unfair attack on the innocent rather than a practical step to solve the problem. Alcohol misuse does cause problems. That's why we should all focus our efforts on educating and treating those who misuse alcohol. We should not punish millions of ordinary hard working families by increasing the financial burden they already face."