Minimum unit pricing for alcohol: Everything you need to know

Since the change announcement was made for Scotland, Balance North East has been among the organisations calling for better control on the availability for cheap alcohol - and Mr Mooney has said there is a lot of work already being undertaken across the region.

Mr Mooney hailed Scotland as being at the forefront of more "fit-for-purpose" legislation surrounding alcohol licensing and availability, including health as a licensing objective.

Alcohol prices in Scotland are skyrocketing, as a new minimum pricing scheme comes into force.

Speaking during a visit to a hospital ward that is treating patients with chronic liver problems, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland had led the way in the world by introducing the policy of minimum unit pricing, she said: "I am extremely proud that the eyes of the world will once again be on Scotland with the introduction of this legislation". It will now cost at least 7.50 pounds.

Health campaigners argue when the price of alcohol goes down, consumption of alcohol goes up. "Half of the crimes committed in Scotland are related to alcohol consumption".

"What we know from study after study is that those people who have a problem with alcohol are not affected by price".

- What is Minimum unit pricing?

By targeting cheap alcohol, she said minimum pricing would discourage youngsters from drinking by making it less affordable.

It says MUP is one of the most effective policy measures available to reduce alcohol-related health harm, which costs the NHS around £3.5bn every year.

The Scottish government claims minimum pricing will save 58 lives in its first year and reduce hospital admissions by 1,300. However, WSTA's retailer members have invested significant time and resource to ensure they will be fully compliant with the new regulations in time for the deadline today.

- What impact could MUP have on harm reduction?

Following the implementation of the new law in Scotland, it is thought that some Scots may cross the border into England it pick up cheaper booze.

- Why does the price of alcohol matter? "A rise in drug use is also on the cards as people use substances such as Spice as a substitute for cheap alcohol".

"We now look forward to seeing a broad and far-reaching alcohol strategy from the Scottish Government soon".

Minimum pricing in Scotland finally came into place this week, after the Scottish Government fought off legal challenges from the alcohol industry.


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