Homelessness charity attacks effects of super-strength lager

Georgina Lock

Thames Reach Bondway is demanding that breweries and the Government reduce the alcohol content and availability of super-strength lagers.

The charity has launched a PR and poster campaign to highlight the serious damage to health, the premature deaths and the social devastation caused by super-strength lagers and ciders among marginalised and homeless people.

It wants to see a 6 per cent ceiling on the level of alcohol in super-strength lager and cider, an increased tax and health warnings similar to those on cigarette packets.

The campaign focuses on the fact that a single 500ml can of 9 per cent lager contains four and a half units of alcohol - exceeding the Government-recommended safe daily alcohol limit for both men and women.

Jeremy Swain, the charity's chief executive, said: "The campaign is not moralistic. Our intention is to highlight the impact of the super-strength lager phenomenon and the unacceptable cull of people whose deaths have been hastened through consuming these products."

The drive was launched on Monday to coincide with a documentary at the end of the BBC1 breakfast news, Super Strength Hell, for which the charity put BBC producers in touch with the characters whose lives they followed.

The campaign poster features a photograph of a revolver, its open chamber revealing a single bullet with the inscription Super Brew 500ml. The accompanying text reminds us that "one can is all it takes".

Swain added: "We need support from breweries and the Government to end the easy availability of 9 per cent lagers and to accept that their cost, in human terms, is simply too high."

Wellpark Brewery produces Tennent's Super, which carries a health warning on the can. A spokesman for the brewery said: "Any campaign that highlights the dangers of excessive alcohol must be welcomed, but focusing on one particular style of drink isn't going to solve the problems."

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