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Alcohol: Limit access, prevent excess

ATLANTA, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- U.S. public health experts propose protecting public health by limiting the days and hours alcohol can be sold.

The U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services -- an independent, non-federal body of public health experts -- has recommended limiting the times during which alcohol can legally be sold, calling it a viable strategy that works to reduce excessive alcohol use and related health and social problems.

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The Community Guide studies, posted online by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, considered all of the scientific evidence on what happens when changing the days or hours when alcohol can be sold. The systematic review of 14 studies found regulating alcohol availability, including limits on days and hours when alcohol sales are allowed as well as regulating where alcohol may be sold, reduces many of the harmful outcomes of drinking too much alcohol.

Excessive alcohol use, including binge and underage drinking, is the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

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