SHAAP responds to Health Committee Report on UK Goverment's Alcohol Strategy

The House of Commons Health Committee have released their report on the UK Government's Alcohol Strategy. The SHAAP response can be read here.

Scottish Government Announces 50p Minimum Unit Price

The Scottish Government have announces a minimum unit price of 50p.

In response to the announcement SHAAP issued a press release that can be read here. Dr Peter Rice, chair of SHAAP said: "SHAAP welcomes the announcement of further progress towards minimum unit pricing. We first called for this in 2007 because of our concerns about the effect of cheap alcohol on Scotland’s health. The Medical and Nursing Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland were united in the view that action was needed. We need price controls that are effective in all economic circumstances, and don’t leave crucial decisions affecting health in the hands of the retailers and Minimum Unit Price achieves this."

SHAAP Responds to WHO removal of alcohol consumption targets

SHAAP response to the WHO Discussion Paper on Monitoring framework and targets for the prevention and control of NCD

The WHO is currently consulting on a monitoring framework and targets for the prevention and control of NCDs. This follows the UN High-level meeting on NCDs in September, which identified four main common risk factors: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity.

Alcohol was previously included in the major risk factors for NCDs and the first draft of the WHO monitoring framework and targets included a target to achieve a 10% relative reduction in per capita consumption of litres of pure alcohol among persons aged 15+ years. In the latest WHO discussion paper this target has been omitted.

The SHAAP response can be downloaded here.

Updated Sheffield research confirms value of minimum pricing

An updated report from Sheffield University, published this morning (31st Jan), confirms that that minimum pricing, combined with an off-licence discount ban, could reduce alcohol consumption and have a significant effect on reducing alcohol-related harm.

Dr Bruce Ritson, chairperson of SHAAP said: "This updated research, along with new empirical evidence from Canada showing the effectiveness of minimum pricing in reducing alcohol consumption, reinforces the case for introducing minimum pricing in Scotland to tackle record levels of alcohol harm."

The Sheffield team first carried out the report in 2009 and it has now been refreshed in light of new data. The report looks at a range of minimum prices from 25p to 70p, with and without a ban on promotions.

Key findings from the updated report, using a 45p minimum price, with a promotions ban, as an illustrative figure, include:

  • Overall weekly consumption across society would fall by six per cent. Consumption changes are greatest for harmful drinkers
  • Alcohol related deaths would fall by about 60 in the first year and over 300 by year ten of the policy
  • Alcohol-attributable morbidity decreases with an estimated reduction of 1,000 acute and 260 chronic illnesses in year one
  • A fall in general hospital admission of 1,660 in year one and 6,630 by year ten
  • Harmful drinkers would pay an extra £132 per year, compared to just £9 for moderate drinkers
  • A fall in crime of 3,600 offences per year
  • Around 36,500 fewer workdays lost through absenteeism and 1,180 fewer people unemployed because of alcohol misuse each year
  • Harm reduction valued at £952 million over 10 years

Read the media release from Sheffield University.

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