Scottish government targets cheap alcohol

Scotland has become the first country in the world to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol. The aim is to cut consumption of cheap alcohol, like high strength white cider and own brand vodka and whiskey. For example the cost of a 2 litre bottle of high strength cider will go up from £2.50 to £7.50.

The direct health risks of alcohol abuse, including liver disease, are well known. There are also a range of other harmful effects. For example, according to Dr Christine Goodall, of Medics Against Violence, more than 80% of assault victims in hospital A & E departments had been drinking, as had the people who had assaulted them.

Health campaigners hope that minimum pricing will help reduce excessive alcohol consumption. However, this is for a six year trail period and the Scottish government will evaluate the findings before deciding what to do in the longer term.