Christian addiction specialist welcomes new ban on cheap alcohol

The price of whisky could go up by as much as £4 per bottle on some brands

Every week, alcohol-related diseases reportedly claim the lives of at least 22 people in Scotland - statistics that are expected to change for the better in the future.

Retailers must ensure that a unit of alcohol is not priced below 50p, and the Scottish government has warned pubs and shops that any infringement of the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Act could result in the loss of licences.

The law, which sets a floor price for drinks depending on how many units of alcohol they contain, was passed in 2012 but has faced legal challenges.

The law stipulates that a standard 700 ml 40 percent bottle of whisky cannot be sold for less than £14 ($19.12, about 1,200 rubles), a 750 ml 13 percent bottle of wine - for less than 4.88 pounds ($6.66, about 421 rubles) and two liters of 5 percent cider can only be sold for a minimum of 5 pounds ($6.83, about 431 rubles).

Mr Mooney hailed Scotland as being at the forefront of more "fit-for-purpose" legislation surrounding alcohol licensing and availability, including health as a licensing objective. Alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion each year - that's £900 for every adult in the country.

"Labour has made the case for a Social Responsibility Levy to claw back the windfall supermarkets could make from minimum unit pricing".

Having achieved a unanimous ruling in the Supreme Court, the Scottish government agreed in February this year that the minimum price on a unit of alcohol would be 50 pence.

Minimum unit pricing, or MUP, simply sets a floor price for a unit of alcohol, meaning it can not legally be sold for less than that.

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- Why does the price of alcohol matter?

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) believes it will not tackle alcohol misuse effectively and says there is no evidence MUP is effective in reducing alcohol-related harm.

It would set the minimum price per gram of alcohol at €0.10.

Health campaigners argue when the price of alcohol goes down, consumption of alcohol goes up.

By targeting cheap alcohol, she said minimum pricing would discourage youngsters from drinking by making it less affordable.

There are already plans to introduce minimum alcohol pricing in Wales and Northern Ireland, while in England the Home Office says the policy will continue to remain under review pending the impact of its implementation in Scotland.

"We now look forward to seeing a broad and far-reaching alcohol strategy from the Scottish Government soon".

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