Half of Scots now back minimum pricing for alcohol despite early fears

49.8% of 1,022 people surveyed supported the measure

Almost half of Scots are now in favour of the minimum unit pricing of alcohol despite initial concerns over the impact of the scheme when it was introduced in 2018.

Analysis of the 2019 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey by Public Health Scotland found 49.8% of 1,022 people surveyed supported the measure. Only 27.6% did not.

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Half of Scots now back minimum pricing for alcohol despite early fears

Implemented in 2018, the measure aimed to tackle alcoholism north of the border by stating each unit of alcohol must cost at least 50p in a bid to raise the price of high-strength drinks.

The move was initially met with some push back when in 2015 only 41.1% of people supported it and 33.4% opposed it.

It has been suggested that in the two years since the policy was implemented, attitudes have relaxed because initial concerns about market-wide price rises not materialising.

Dr Karl Ferguson, the public health intelligence adviser at Public Health Scotland, said: “A related possible explanation is that some concerns the public may have held prior to implementation have not been observed.”

“For example, MUP did not increase prices across the board in the off- and on- trades, as it only directly influences the pricing of a minority of off-trade products.”

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick welcomed the findings saying: “This latest report showing increasing public support for MUP is very encouraging.

“We know that it will take longer for the impact of reduced consumption to feed through into health-related statistics, but I am more convinced than ever that MUP is one of the main drivers in reducing alcohol harms.”

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