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Scots drink less alcohol

30th August 2012

A new NHS report has revealed that people in Scotland are now drinking less alcohol.

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The document, which analyses retail sales, found that the amount of alcohol sold in Scotland fell by 4% between 2010 and 2011 – from 11.7 litres annually per adult to 11.2 litres - although alcohol sales are still 10% higher than in 1994 and 20% more than the alcohol sold in England and Wales where an average of 9.3 litres was sold per adult in 2011.

The Scottish alcohol intake represents an average of 21.6 units per adult each week, compared with the recommended levels of 14 units for women and 21 for men.

Alcohol sold in pubs and restaurants in Scotland fell by 30% between 1994 and 2011 but off-trade sales in shops and supermarkets rose by 48%.

The figures follow moves by MSPs in May to pass legislation making Scotland the first place in the UK to introduce minimum pricing of alcohol at 50p per unit, with shops no longer able to make special offers and multi-buy discounts on alcohol.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the drop in sales of alcohol but remained concerned that the figures were still “unacceptably high” compared to England and Wales.

She said: “These findings demonstrate the continuing extent of Scotland’s alcohol misuse problem, with enough alcohol being sold for every adult to exceed weekly recommended limits for men each and every week since at least 2000.”

The Scottish Conservatives expressed cautious optimism that minimum unit pricing would help save lives across Scotland.

 

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