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Sunday, July 28, 2013

The drink debate

By Alex Neil Health Secretary

Alcohol has been in the news this week so it is timely to remind people that my colleagues and I are fully committed to implementing minimum pricing.
Minimum pricing deals with a specific problem – the increase in consumption of, and harm from, ever cheaper booze – those high-strength ciders, beers, vodka and gin sold at pocket-money prices that are the real source of Scotland's alcohol problem.
Alcohol misuse takes its toll on families, blights communities and stretches support services across Scotland. The impact of excessive consumption is estimated to cost us £3.6 billion each year – that's £900 for every adult in Scotland – through health, crime and employment harms.

We strongly believe that a minimum price per unit of alcohol will be the most effective and efficient way to tackle alcohol misuse. Setting the minimum price at 50 pence per unit will have significant health and social benefits, such as fewer alcohol-related deaths, hospital admissions and a reduction in crime.

This landmark policy will save lives – and quickly.  > > > >  Read More