SNP MEP Alyn Smith welcomed a major report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which backed minimum pricing and called for further efforts to tackle alcohol abuse.
The report emphasised that while Minimum Unit Pricing had the potential to reduce drinking among heavy drinkers, moderate drinkers of all levels of income would be largely unaffected.
Adults in Scotland consumed an average of 10.1 units of alcohol per week (13.7 units for men and 6.8 units for women) in 2013.
Alyn said:
“The OECD’s comments on the Scottish Government’s minimum pricing are great news. Minimum pricing is a proportionate, evidence-based policy to cut down on harmful drinking amongst the heaviest drinkers.
“The latest modelling carried out by the School of Health and Related research (ScHARR) at Sheffield University estimated that a minimum price of 50p per unit would result in 300 fewer deaths per annum after 10 years.
“Since the policy is presently before the Court of Justice in Luxembourg after the Scotch Whisky Association challenged it any support that it receives is welcome.
“We need to do more. The OECD’s plea for a series of evidence based and cost-effective policies to tackle alcohol abuse echoes my own hopes.
“Last month, along with my colleagues in the European Parliament, I voted in favour of creating a new EU-wide alcohol strategy. I clearly stated that this is not a problem that will just go away and unfortunately this report confirms that I was correct.
“That the report shows that more people are drinking from a younger age is deeply concerning and confirms that this is not a problem that will solve itself. We must take action to help the current and future generations of Scots.”