More than 3000 deaths a year from alcohol-related causes would be avoided by significantly raising the price of drink bought in supermarkets.

This is the view of the chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson, who has advocated a minimum price of 50pence per unit, a move he says will cut binge-drinking.

Currently a large bottle of strong cheap cider delivers around 11 units and costs as little as 12pence per unit, or a cost of 48pence for the recommended daily intake of 4 units for men, 36pence for the three units recommendation for women. Two cans of lager delivers around 4 units at 30pence a unit, a £3-4 bottle of wine delivers around 9 units at 35pence a unit and a bottle of spirits supplies 28 units at rates from around 30pence per unit.

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