Booze sales fall after introduction of minimum pricing policy

© SuppliedHealth Secretary Jeane Freeman
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman

Scottish alcohol sales have fallen to their lowest level for almost a quarter of a century since the introduction of minimum pricing.

The total volume of pure alcohol sold per adult in 2018 was 9.9 litres – the equivalent of 19 units per person per week.

The figures from the Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) programme were the lowest since recording began in 1994.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman described the figures as a “promising start” following the Scottish Government’s introduction of minimum pricing in May 2018.

However, deaths from alcohol are still rising.

The NHS Health Scotland report revealed that 1,120 deaths in 2017 were “wholly attributable to alcohol”.

People from the most deprived areas were eight times more likely to go to hospital because of alcohol than those in the most affluent areas.

The poorest parts had alcohol death rates that were more than seven times higher than those in the least deprived communities.