Canadian study strengthens case for minimum alcohol price plan

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Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed new research highlighting the impact of minimum pricing in Canada.

The study by Professor Tim Stockwell who is director of the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia, found that a 10 per cent increase in the minimum price of all alcoholic drinks led to a 3.4 per cent reduction in consumption.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“I welcome these findings from Professor Stockwell which provide us with the first concrete evidence that minimum pricing does impact on alcohol consumption.

“Not only that it confirms what we have been saying all along that the measure has more of an effect on heavy drinkers as they tend to favour cheaper alcohol.”

Minimum pricing was controversially blocked by a Unionist parties in the last term of the Scottish Parliament.  However the SNP’s majority win in May ensured it would be re-introduced this term.

The plan received another boost this week when Tennents Caledonian boss Steve Annand announced his company was backing the proposals.

The Health Secretary added:

“This reinforces the Scottish Government’s position that the Minimum Pricing Bill is the most effective measure we can introduce to reduce alcohol consumption and tackle Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with drink.

“The support in favour of minimum pricing is now overwhelming.  Yesterday Tennent’s re-affirmed their support for the introduction of the policy and today a group of leading doctors and academics have given their support to our plans to introduce minimum pricing and have called on the UK Government to do the same.

“I hope that this time around Scotland’s MSPs will do the right thing and back this policy that has the support of doctors, nurses, the police and growing numbers of the general population.”