Minimum Unit Pricing reducing deaths in Scotland

Research has revealed that Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) has reduced alcohol deaths in Scotland.

Research by Public Health Scotland and University of Glasgow estimated that 156 deaths have been avoided each year since the introduction of MUP.

The study indicates a 13.4 per cent reduction in deaths, and a 4.1 per cent reduction in hospital admissions wholly attributable to alcohol consumption in the first two and a half years after MUP was introduced in May 2018.

Researchers are confident of a link between the introduction of MUP and the reduction in alcohol health harms. The researchers also highlighted there had been significant reductions in deaths in areas of deprivation, suggesting MUP has helped reduce inequalities in alcohol-attributable deaths in Scotland.

Scottish Health Minister Maree Todd said: “I am very pleased with these findings which point to more than 150 lives a year being saved and 411 fewer hospital admissions, further underlining the value of our world-leading Minimum Unit Pricing policy which has helped reduce alcohol sales to their lowest on record.

“We’re determined to do all we can to reduce alcohol-related harm which is one of the most pressing public health challenges that we face in Scotland.

“Minimum Unit Pricing continues to achieve its aim – cutting overall sales, particularly cheap high-strength alcohol, which is often drunk by people drinking at harmful levels.

“It’s also encouraging to see that the research has highlighted that the policy is having an effect in Scotland’s most deprived areas – which experience higher death rates and levels of harms from problem alcohol.”

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