There won't be many expressions of surprise at the findings of a survey by the Health is Wealth commission to identify the connection between poor health & economic deprivation in Liverpool (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2008/05/01/revealed-grim-state-of-merseyside-s-health-100252-20844996/ ):
"The study found that every day across the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton) nine people die from smoking-related diseases; five people die from heart disease or stroke; six people die of cancer and 22 people are admitted to hospital with alcohol-specific conditions."
The Echo report is vague on the commission's ability to effect legislative change (perhaps its remit doesn't extend so far). Preferring to quote the statistics involved.
There is, however, a quote from the commission's chair, Sue Woodward which you don't normally find in the Echo as it "celebrates" this year of capital with trivia, sob stories & lachrymose sentiment:
"As we count the cranes on the Liverpool skyline and enjoy the rave reviews in the Sunday supplements, the time is right to stand up and face the elephant in the room.
"Generations of families dependent on benefits, the spiralling problem of alcohol misuse, the creation of a super underclass, an invisible army of people disconnected and cut off from the opportunities created on their own streets, lives cut short through inequality and deprivation."
The commission also observes that there are 15,000 registered drug users in the region. Add in the unregistered users & casual drug users & you end up with a figure at least three times as large.