Scottish Government wins European award for its work to reduce alcohol harm
Alcoholic drinks - Image credit: Press Association
The Scottish Government has been given a European award for its work to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.
The European Reducing Alcohol Harm Award was given by Eurocare, an alliance of public health organisations from 25 European countries, in recognition of a “comprehensive range” of evidence-based policies.
These measures include the multi-buy discount ban, lowering the drink-drive limit and minimum-unit pricing.
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It was announced at the seventh European Alcohol Policy Conference in Slovenia, which was attended by health ministers, scientists and public health officials from across the European Union.
Mariann Skar, Secretary General of Eurocare, said: “The first European Award for Reducing Alcohol Harm Award is awarded to the Scottish Government in recognition of its actions to develop and implement a comprehensive range of evidence-based alcohol policies, and specifically its battle to implement minimum unit pricing, in the face of sustained opposition by global alcohol producers.
“Scotland is recognised as an international beacon for evidence-based alcohol policies, making the improvement of the health of its population a top priority.”
Alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6bn a year and kills around 22 people a week in this country.
The Scottish Government has been attempting to introduce minimum unit pricing in a bid to discourage problem drinking.
However, last week the Scotch Whisky Association announced it is to appeal against measure to the Supreme Court after the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled it was lawful for public health reasons.
The Scottish Government has previously legislated against multi-buy discounts on alcohol and lowered the drink drive limit in Scotland to 50 milligrams per litre of blood in December 2014.
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: “It’s a huge honour that Scotland has been given this award in recognition of our work to reduce the damage caused by alcohol.
“This award is a tribute to all the people in Scotland who work with those affected by alcohol.”
She added: “We remain absolutely committed to introduce minimum unit pricing as soon as possible.”
The Scottish Government will be publishing a refreshed alcohol strategy for Scotland shortly.