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SNP remain committed to minimum pricing

As a major international alcohol policy conference gets underway in Scotland, the SNP government has received praise from its chair for showing “political courage” in pursuing minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) will hold its annual conference in Scotland over the next two days and its chair, Derek Rutherford, has praised the Scottish Government for seeking to implement minimum unit pricing for alcohol. Over 400 health researchers and campaigners from 50 countries will attend the conference.

The First Minister today addressed the conference and has said the government remains “absolutely committed” to minimum pricing to tackle alcohol misuse. The European Court of Justice recently decided that minimum unit pricing does not contravene European law if it can be shown to be the most effective public health measure available.

Commenting, SNP MSP Bob Doris said: “The comments from the chair of the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance are a welcome recognition of the leadership the Scottish Government is showing on this major public health issue.

“The First Minister has also today reaffirmed the SNP government’s commitment to implementing minimum unit pricing. Alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion every year and causes the needless deaths of far too many – minimum unit pricing will be the most effective measure to tackling the substantial harm caused by cheap alcohol.

“It is fantastic to see health professionals and campaigners from across the world come to Scotland to share best practice on tackling alcohol misuse. It will also be an opportunity for Scotland to showcase the significant action already taken to tackle this issue – including the ban on alcohol ‘multi-buys’.

“The SNP will continue to take the action needed to reduce the damage done by excessive alcohol consumption and will continue to make the strong case for minimum unit pricing.

Notes:

Derek Rutherford’s comments can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34455348