Minimum Prices Put on Alcohol Units Sold across Scotland
May 1, 2018
Scotland has become the first country in the world to introduce laws to ensure there are minimum prices charged per unit on all alcoholic products sold nationwide.
The aim of the new rules is to discourage excessive drinking and reduce the number of Scots who die each year from alcohol related illnesses.
Figures suggest that Scotland currently sees almost double to the number of alcohol related deaths on an annual basis than is the case in other parts of the UK.
Any business selling alcoholic drinks in Scotland must now charge their customers at least 50 pence per unit of alcohol, which will put the price of a bottle of wine at a minimum of around £5, a 700ml bottle of whisky at roughly £14 and a two litre bottle of 5 per cent cider at around £5.
The government has said its aim is to “tackle the damage caused by cheap, high strength alcohol” and suggested the new laws could save close to 400 lives over the course of the next five years.
“It’s no secret that Scotland has a troubled relationship with alcohol,” said first minister Nicola Sturgeon, while visiting a hospital ward that treats patients with chronic liver problems.
“I am extremely proud that the eyes of the world will once again be on Scotland with the introduction of this legislation.
“Our action is bold and it is brave, and shows once again that we are leading the way in introducing innovative solutions to public health challenges.”
Ms Sturgeon described a minimum price per unit policy as being the most effective means of tackling issues associated with the availability of high strength, low cost alcohol.
She also noted that Scotland sees 22 deaths each week that can be attributed to alcohol consumption, as well as very nearly 700 hospital admissions each week for the same reasons.
“Scotland has the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in the UK – from today, I hope we will see that change,” said Shona Robinson, health secretary.
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