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LONDON, England -- The European Union is the world's heaviest drinking region, according to figures provided by the European Commission. The commission says it is committed to supporting programs combating alcohol-related illnesses, curbing underage alcohol consumption and to pressure beverage makers to promote responsible drinking. But the plan, which will target binge drinking and drink-driving, particularly among young people, stops short of a ban on alcohol advertising, opting to educate rather than restrict the industry's sales or publicity.
55 million: The number of adults who are estimated to drink at harmful levels in the EU -- equivalent to more than 10 percent of the population.
195,000: The number of people killed each year by excess alcohol consumption in the 25-nation bloc.
13: The average age when Europeans begin getting drunk.
23 million: The number of Europeans dependent on alcohol at any time -- 5 percent of men and 1 percent of women.
11: The number of liters of pure alcohol consumed by the average adult in the EU. Equivalent to 1,400 small beers, according to figures provided by the European Commission.
3: Alcohol is the third-biggest cause of illness and early death in the EU.
25 percent: More than a quarter of traffic deaths on EU roads -- at least 10,000 per year -- are caused by drink-driving.
A young woman pictured after a night out in the UK.
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