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Minister welcomes alcohol report

Published: 13 Nov 2015 11:00

Report finds Scotland is leading the way.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt has welcomed a report by the Universities of Stirling and Sheffield, which found that the UK Government's alcohol policies are weaker than those implemented by the devolved nations

Four Nations: How Evidence-based are Alcohol Policies and Programmes Across the UK? investigates the extent to which alcohol policies and programmes across the UK are based on evidence.

Ms Watt said: "We welcome this report, which shows once again that Scotland is leading the way in taking strong, evidence based action to tackle alcohol misuse. Our Alcohol Framework contains more than 40 measures to reduce alcohol-related harm and has had a positive impact so far but, while an average of around 22 people a week still die because of alcohol, there can be no room for complacency. That is why we are working on the next phase of our alcohol strategy which will be ready in 2016.

"There is no doubt that a key factor in alcohol-related harm is affordability. This is why minimum unit pricing is such an important part of our package of measures and is needed to tackle the availability of cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so much damage in our communities. This report acknowledges that MUP, which is supported by Wales and Northern Ireland, could save thousands of lives and lead to substantial reductions in alcohol-related crime and absence from work.

"The report also notes that Scotland has led the way in prioritising the delivery of Alcohol Brief Interventions - and consistently exceeded our targets for these - and in lowering the drink-drive limit, among other measures. It mentions the limited control the Scottish Government has over marketing, which is why we are pressing the UK Government to do more to protect children from exposure to alcohol advertising in all its forms and consider a wider review of alcohol advertising."