Minimum Unit Pricing Reducing Alcohol Consumption

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Minister welcomes research which concludes measure has cut sales.

Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) “is achieving one of its key aims” according to Ministers after a new report concluded that it has been effective in cutting alcohol consumption.

– Graeme

It is encouraging to see that minimum unit pricing has proven effective in reducing alcohol sales by 3% in the first three years after implementation.

Increasing alcohol consumption poses a significant threat to any individual’s life, but particularly in Scotland, where high alcohol consumption contributes to the rise in liver disease. Thus, I welcome this progress and hope that it will only get better

Looking at the first three years since introduction, new research by Public Health Scotland and Glasgow University has concluded that the policy is reducing overall sales.

The level of minimum unit pricing is currently under review and a consultation on restrictions on the marketing of alcohol to help drive down hazardous consumption is also underway.

– Public Health Minister Maree Todd

I welcome this report which shows that minimum unit pricing has been effective in creating a 3% net reduction in total alcohol sales in the first three years of implementation. This important conclusion takes account of other factors such as the impact of the pandemic on alcohol sales, seasonal variations, existing trends, household income and comparison with England and Wales where MUP was not in place.

Minimum unit pricing is achieving what is set out to do – a reduction in sales overall with a focus on the cheap high-strength alcohol, which is often drunk by people drinking at harmful levels. Further studies on MUP including a final evaluation report, which is due next year, will examine how MUP has impacted on alcohol harms.

Our focus is not only on MUP – last week, we launched a consultation on restrictions on the marketing of alcohol to help drive down hazardous consumption, and we are reviewing Scotland’s Alcohol Brief Interventions Programme which aims to motivate people to cut down on drinking.

Background

Report highlights impact of MUP

Last week, the Scottish Government also asked for views on its proposals to tighten restrictions on alcohol advertising – including at sporting events, on buses, and online. The policy is one of WHO’s recommended approaches to cutting alcohol-related harm, and aims to reduce the appeal of alcohol and improve the nation’s health.