Scotland sets minimum price for booze

Scotland on Thursday became the first part of Britain to introduce a minimum price for alcohol in an attempt to change its unhealthy relationship with booze.

Alcohol will be sold at a minimum price of 50 pence (81 US cents, 63 euro cents) per unit after voted 86 to one in favour of the act. The measure could come into effect from next April.

"This policy will save lives -- it's as simple as that," Nicola Sturgeon said.

"It is time to turn the tide of that for too long has been crippling our country," she added.

"Minimum pricing will kickstart a change by addressing a fundamental part of our alcohol culture -- the availability of high-strength, low-cost alcohol."

In recent years, Scotland has made efforts to tackle its . It was the first part of the United Kingdom to outlaw smoking in public places, doing so in March 2006.

Scottish lawmakers have already banned discount deals such as two for the price of one on bottles of wine, restricted "irresponsible" drinks promotions and advertising around premises, and set a requirement for .

Under the new law, a 70-centilitre bottle of 37.5 percent would cost at least £13.13 (16 euros, $20), while a 75cl bottle of 12.5 percent wine would be sold for no less than £4.69 (5.85 euros, $7.30).

One unit in Britain is 10 millilitres of pure alcohol. A double pub measure of spirits, a pint of low-strength beer and a medium glass of wine each contain around two units.

Critics say the law will hand supermarkets a profits windfall and punish poorer people.

A minimum price of 40 pence (49 euro cents, 62 US cents) per unit has been mooted for England and Wales.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scotland sets minimum alcohol price

May 14, 2012

The Scottish government set out a minimum price for alcohol Monday, saying too many Scots were "drinking themselves to death" and it was time to tackle the country's relationship with booze.

UK: Minimum alcohol price not set high enough

Feb 24, 2012

Following Prime Minister David Cameron's vow last week to tackle binge drinking, new research from Newcastle University has highlighted the need for a strong approach to alcohol pricing.

Recommended for you

Study highlights concern for homeless seniors

1 minute ago

A new study for the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, co-authored by researchers at the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University, has found that a disproportionate number of people chronically staying ...

Mateship key to boosting resilient youth

32 minutes ago

Having a supportive friend who is connected to their family and greater community can be the critical factor that protects and promotes resilience in vulnerable Aboriginal youth, according to research from ...

Here's to wine, chocolate and a long, healthy life

2 hours ago

Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122, remains the oldest person on record. One might assume that she led a faultless, healthy lifestyle. Not at all. Every year on her birthday, as her celebri ...

Experts discuss communications gap on vaccines

3 hours ago

The number of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children is on the rise, and with it the incidence of preventable diseases such as measles. The health community could reverse the trend by doing a better ...

User comments