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We invite comments on the proposed minimum price of 50 pence per unit which is set out in the draft Scottish Statutory Instrument at Annex A.

We invite comments on the proposed minimum price of 50 pence per unit which is set out in the draft Scottish Statutory Instrument at Annex A .
Consultation by the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom 1. About the Faculty of Public Health The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) is a registered charity and membership organisation for nearly 4,000 public health professionals across the UK and around the world. Our role is to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and national populations. We do this by professionally supporting the current public health workforce and the development of a future workforce, encouraging and promoting new public health research and policy, and improving public health practice at a local, national, and international level by campaigning for change and working in partnership with local and national governments on specific public health projects. 2. Consultation The Faculty of Public Health welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the draft regulations for the minimum unit pricing of alcohol and the chosen level of 50p per unit. We strongly support the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Scotland, and we are very pleased to see its implementation. We congratulate the Scottish Government for pursuing this policy in the face of opposition by the alcohol industry. The evidence base for MUP is strong and it is well laid out in the Scottish Government’s consultation document. It is an effective and cost-effective measure which will significantly improve and protect the health and well-being of the people of Scotland. The policy specifically targets the cheapest, strongest alcohol products, which are predominantly sold as off-sales. These products are consumed by those who experience the most alcohol-related harm, namely dependent and street drinkers, and this pattern drives health inequalities in such harm. MUP targets such drinkers and also protects underage young people who, due to their limited resources, consume such products. MUP will have little effect on the majority of moderate alcohol drinkers, for whom alcohol taxation is the effective policy as part of a wider alcohol control strategy. We would support the introduction of MUP at the level of 50p per unit, which is the same level as envisaged in the original Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act of 2012. Whilst the impact of inflation might lower the estimated impact envisaged in 2012, this level has strong support and it will raise the price of the cheapest products in a significant way. Modelling by Sheffield University indicates that this is likely to have meaningful impact on serious health outcomes (hospital admissions and deaths) and crime. It will reduce health inequalities and the heavy burden of harm to others caused by harmful drinkers. We warmly welcome the independent evaluation of the impact of MUP by NHS Health Scotland to ensure its full potential is realised. We would fully support a process of regular review of the price level to ensure its continuing effectiveness in the face of economic and market changes. References 1. Angus, C., Holmes, J., Pryce, R., Meier, P. & Brennan, P. (2016). Model-based appraisal of the comparative impact of Minimum Unit Pricing and taxation policies in Scotland An adaptation of the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model version 3. ScHARR, University of Sheffield, https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.565373!/file/Scotland_report_2016.pdf

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Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom