Scottish alcohol sales reach 25-year low

The volume of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level since 1994, following the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in 2018.

A minimum price of 50 pence per unit of alcohol was implemented in May 2018.

The NHS Health Scotland published its Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) programme this week, which found that alcohol sales per adult in Scotland fell by 3% following the introduction of MUP.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “This is a promising start following our world-leading action to introduce minimum unit pricing, and with this 3% fall we are moving in the right direction.

“There are, on average, 22 alcohol-specific deaths every week in Scotland, and 683 hospital admissions, and behind every one of these statistics is a person, a family, and a community badly affected by alcohol harm.

“Given the clear and proven link between consumption and harm, minimum unit pricing is the most effective and efficient way to tackle the cheap, high-strength alcohol that causes so much harm to so many families.”

In 2018, the volume of pure alcohol sold per adult in Scotland fell to 9.9 litres, equivalent to 19 units of alcohol per adult per week.

Results of the MESAS programme found that the volume of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland was 9% higher than in England and Wales, where 9.1 litres were sold per adult.

Following the introduction of MUP in Scotland, the Welsh government has moved forward with its plans to implement a 50p MUP for alcohol in Wales.


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Author: Owen Bellwood {authorlink}