SHAAP comment on new report on Minimum Unit Pricing
SHAAP Director Elinor Jayne responds to the latest report on MUP.
In response to the new report on the impact of Mininum Unit Pricing (MUP), Elinor Jayne, Director of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), said:
“This report is a really important piece of the jigsaw of evidence on the impact of the ground breaking policy of minimum unit pricing of alcohol. There were many fears that the heaviest drinkers might be negatively affected by the policy and this research allays much of this as there is little evidence of increased criminality or substitution to other drugs. It is also important to acknowledge that there is a small proportion of people who are in treatment for their alcohol problems who reported spending less on other household items in order to consume the same amount of alcohol. We clearly must do more to better support people in this situation to cut back and put in place services to help with the various different areas of their lives that will be impacted by alcohol consumption.
“Minimum unit pricing aims to save lives that would otherwise be lost to alcohol and the longer it is in place the more people will be prevented from reaching the harmful levels of drinking that puts lives at risk. This is something that in Scotland we desperately need to see happen, as we come to terms with the impact of the pandemic on our drinking patterns and on the harms being felt in people’s lives, every day, as a result of heavy drinking. Minimum unit pricing is not the only tool in the tool box to limit harm caused by alcohol, but it is extremely effective and must continue to be used alongside other policy measures such as restricting alcohol marketing, as well as much greater priority being given to services for people with alcohol problems.”