If there’s one thing that Brits love more than anything, it’s a drink. Growing up it was almost a rite of passage to find yourself in a field with your mates armed with the cheapest bottle of booze you could afford (with your parent’s pocket money, of course). While our taste buds may have evolved past those rotten £7 bottles of Glenn’s, the drinking culture that many of us in the UK have fallen into is still very much alive – and now it’s been revealed that British women top the list for the world’s biggest female binge drinkers.
A report by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compared alcohol consumption across 33 countries and found the UK was first in the global charts for binge drinking among women – defined as having at least six drinks in a single session – with 26% doing this at least once a month. However, British men were higher, at 45%. And when both sexes were combined, the UK was ranked joint third overall with Luxembourg for binge drinking rates, behind only Romania and Denmark.
Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, said: “Alcohol causes too much harm here in the UK. But this is totally avoidable. There is an overwhelming need for the government to introduce measures that we know will reduce alcohol harm and save lives, such as proper controls on alcohol marketing, introducing minimum unit pricing in England like we already have in Scotland and Wales, and clearer alcohol labelling.”
The OECD’s report also found adults in the UK were more likely to say they vaped compared with other countries but have lower than average smoking rates. Just 12.7% are current smokers in the UK, compared with an OECD average of 16%. However, almost one in 20 adults (4.9%) said they vaped regularly, compared with an average of 3.2%.
So, while we all know that Brits have a big drinking and smoking problem, now might be the time to take it a little easy on the booze, and toss away the vape for good.