According to the latest statistics issued by the Scottish Government, the volume of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland in 2018 has been the lowest since 1994. The figure in 2018 was 9.9 litres of pure alcohol per adult which equals to 19.0 units of alcohol per adult per week.
A data analysis was conducted after Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP) in May 2018 to counteract the harm incurred due to inexpensive high strength alcohol. The MUP requires setting a minimum 50 pence per unit price. Following the introduction of MUP, there was a 3 per cent drop in sales per adult compared with the previous year.
The NHS Health Scotland Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy programme had determined that the alcohol sales per adult Scotland was 9% higher than that in England and Wales. However, with the implementation of MUP, this gap seems to be narrowing. Scotland is still heavily burdened by alcohol-related harm. On average, it witnesses 22 alcohol-specific deaths and 683 hospital admissions every week.
Jeane Freeman, the Scottish Health Secretary said: "Given the clear and proven link between consumption and harm, minimum unit pricing is the most effective and efficient way to tackle the cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so much harm to so many families."