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Scotland becomes first country to implement minimum unit price for alcohol
May 23 2018, 01:14 | Alonzo Simpson
Alcohol 10 reasons minimum pricing sucks
Minimum unit pricing, or MUP, simply sets a floor price for a unit of alcohol, meaning it can not legally be sold for less than that.
Ministers have called the new law a significant step in tackling Scotland's "unhealthy relationship" with alcohol.
The idea behind the law is to try and save lives, with a minimum price set for alcohol based on how many units it contains.
It is estimated the move could save around 392 lives in the first five years of its implementation in Scotland, where on average there are 22 alcohol-specific deaths every week and 697 hospital admissions.
"Minimum unit pricing is a policy that will help to save lives and reduce alcohol harms in Scotland".
"Labour has made the case for a Social Responsibility Levy to claw back the windfall supermarkets could make from minimum unit pricing".
John Mooney, senior lecturer in public health, has commented on similarities between parts of the country and the North East, as Scotland aims to cut alcohol deaths and hospital admissions, as well as slashing crime and reducing costs to the health service.
After the ruling last November, Spirits Europe, which supported the plight of the SWA said that the ruling "will distort competition by preventing efficient low-priced producers of alcoholic drinks in other Member States from using that competitive advantage against higher cost producers, without targeting those who drink at harmful levels".
Chief executive Shirley Cramer said numerous studies and global evidence suggest MUP can significantly reduce deaths and other health harms.
At midnight tonight, new pricing rules to discourage problem drinking will increase the prices of alcohol in Scotland.
Under the new policy, alcohol sellers will be expected to charge at least half a British pound (€0.57/$0.68) for every unit of pure alcohol.
- What impact could MUP have on harm reduction?
"A large and legal online business is likely to emerge to satisfy demand and there is nothing the SNP can do about it".
The Irish Government is planning to introduce similar measures here.
He said: We think there is enough evidence for the Government to bring it in in England, it's being brought in in Wales, we know that the plan's afoot in Northern Ireland and it's already happening as we know in Scotland, so England looks like an outlier.
"We work with people who are less wealthy than others so it makes a big difference because they're buying cheap alcohol in big quantities".