The SNP Government intends to implement minimum unit pricing “as soon as possible” after the Court of Session’s ruling in support of the policy, Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP has confirmed.
New figures show that the rate of alcohol-related admissions to hospital remains over four times higher than it was in the early 1980s. Over the year 2015-16, there were 34,915 alcohol-related admissions, with 23,431 people treated in both acute and psychiatric hospitals.
Ms Robison stated that a “wealth of international evidence” showed that minimum unit pricing had a public health benefit and that the move would be “lifesaving”.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson said
“The SNP Government has a comprehensive and wide ranging strategy to tackle the harm caused by alcohol misuse, of which minimum unit pricing is just 1 of 41 measures, albeit one backed by academic evidence, the medical profession, Scottish Police Federation, Scottish children’s and alcohol reduction charities and Scotland’s churches.
“We know from international evidence that this policy works and with 22 people per week in Scotland dying because of alcohol, effective action on alcohol misuse is crucial.
“I hope that the Scottish Whisky Association now accepts the Court of Session’s judgement and allow us to get on with implementing the will of the Scottish Parliament.”