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.

Related Stories

Scotland sets minimum alcohol price

date 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

date 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

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

date 17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

date 17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

date 19 hours ago

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

date 21 hours ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.