Men drink twice as much and die twice as much
Men are drinking twice as much as women according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics. On average, men put away 18.7 units of alcohol a week compared to 9 units for women.
Men also drank on more days of the week than women. More than one in five men (21%) compared with just over one in ten women (11%) had drunk on at least five of the previous seven days. Those in so called 'managerial and professional' households drank the most (15.1 units a week).
As previously reported on malehealth, methods for calculating alcohol consumption have been updated to reflect the trend towards larger measures and stronger alcoholic drinks, especially wine. This means it is more difficult to compare figures with previous years. However, the ONS says that 'estimates from the last ten years using the old methodology suggest that the trend in alcohol consumption may be downward.' The proportion of men drinking more than 21 units a week on average fell from 29%in 2000 to 23% in 2006.
Despite this fall, the number of people in the UK dying from alcohol continues to rise. There were 13.4 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 population in 2006 - up from 12.9 in 2005. Like the drinking rate, the mortality rate in men (18.3/100,000) was more than twice the rate for females (8.8/100,000).
There has been a slight increase in awareness of units over the last ten years - 85% of adults had heard of alcohol units in 2007, compared with 79% ten years earlier. Furthermore, 38% of those who had heard of units, reported having seen unit labelling on alcohol, up from 23% in 2000.
Smoking ban makes pubs more attractive
The survey also reports on pub-goers' response to the bans on smoking in public places, introduced in Scotland in 2006 and in Wales and England in 2007.
Four out of five pub-goers said that the change would not affect, or had not affected how often they went to the pub. Indeed, of those who said their behaviour was likely to change, 15% said they were likely to go more often, compared with 6% who said they would go less often.
Fewer than 1 in 4 now smoke
The overall proportion of over 16s who smoke fell to 22% in 2006, its lowest recorded level. This downturn follows a period of little change since the second half of the 1990s, when prevalence levelled out at about 27%.
Since records began in 1974, smoking has always been higher among men than women. In 2006, 23% of men and 21% of women were smokers.
As in previous years, men also smoked more cigarettes a day on average than women: in 2006, men smoked on average 15 fags a day, compared with 13 a day for women.
Just over two thirds (68%) of cigarette smokers in Great Britain said that they wanted to give up.
Page created on January 28th, 2008
Page updated on December 21st, 2009