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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The impact of minimum unit pricing in the new UK alcohol strategy

In March this year the UK government released its Alcohol Strategy for England and Wales. Although weaknesses in sections on treatment and the promotion of alcohol have been criticised, the Strategy has been broadly welcomed by those concerned about alcohol misuse. In particular, the commitment to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol has been hailed as a significant step forward in addressing the country’s alcohol problems. But how much impact will minimum pricing have?

Minimum unit pricing directly links the price of drinks to their alcohol content and sets a floor price below which a unit (10ml or 8g) of alcohol cannot be sold. For example, a 40 pence minimum price would mean a pint of beer containing two units could not be sold for less than 80 pence. The main evidence demonstrating minimum pricing’s potential effectiveness has been produced by researchers at the University of Sheffield. > > > > Read More