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

Advanced care decision aids underutilized

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—Decision aids are underutilized for advanced care planning and their effectiveness is not well documented, according to a review published online July 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Research looks to combat US Latina immigrant obesity

13 hours ago

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, comprising 16.7% of the population. Approximately one-third of Latinos are obese and are 1.2 times as likely to be obese compared ...

User comments