Scottish introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing will save lives
Alcohol Action Ireland today (1st May) welcomed the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on alcohol in Scotland. This comes after what has been an incredible, six-year battle against ‘big alcohol’ who sought, at every opportunity, to derail the Scottish government’s public health policy.
The introduction of MUP in Scotland is forecasted to save over 50 lives in year one of implementation. Alcohol Focus Scotland have said that MUP will help harmful drinkers reduce their drinking by 7%, which will bring significant health benefits and greatly reduce health inequalities.
The much contested, Public Health Alcohol Bill, which would enable the introduction of MUP to Ireland, along with other measures, has equally attracted the ire of the alcohol industry, who have continuously sought to delay its enactment through spurious argument and heavy lobbying of our public representatives.
Like Scotland, the modelling of the Irish market, as conducted by Sheffield University, demonstrates that the introduction of a 0.10c per gram (€1 standard drink) MUP would likely reduce consumption amongst Ireland’s drinkers by 8.8%.
Commenting on this development, Eunan McKinney, Head of Communications and Advocacy at Alcohol Action Ireland said:
“The decision by the Scotland government, validated by the UK Supreme Court, to commence this legislation is highly significant and will undoubtedly saves lives.
Crucially, MUP would not only encourage Ireland’s 1.4 million harmful drinkers to drink a little less but also protect children and vulnerable adults from the harms related to cheap, strong alcohol so prevalent in our supermarkets, convenience stores and small shops. ”