Drinking figures

The claim that the “Scottish alcohol multi-buy ban ‘has not cut sales’” (your report, 26 November) contradicts findings previously reported (“Multi-buy ban sees 4.5 million wine bottle sales drop”, your report, 21 May).

Using alcohol sales data, which are considered the best available for assessing the impact of policy on population levels of consumption, our study in collaboration with the University of Glasgow found that the introduction of the Alcohol Act (which included the discount ban) in October 2011 was associated with a 2.6 per cent decrease in the amount of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland.

This was largely driven by a 4 per cent decline in wine sales.

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As similar declines were not observed in England and Wales where the Alcohol Act does not apply, and because we took into account factors such as changes in income and alcohol prices, we are confident that banning multi-buy promotions reduced the amount of alcohol sold in Scotland.

Mark Robinson

Public health information manager

NHS Health Scotland