Scotland to research the impact of minimum pricing

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcoholic beverage Edinburgh Scotland

A Scottish university is looking at the effects on heavy drinkers
A Scottish university is looking at the effects on heavy drinkers
A university in Scotland is to research the effects of minimum pricing on the country’s heaviest drinkers.

Queen Margaret University (QMU) will look into whether drinkers with alcohol-related illnesses buy low-priced alcohol.

The Scottish Minimum Pricing Bill was introduced last month, as part of the Alcohol Bill.

The research is funded by the Chief Scientist Office and Alcohol Research UK.

It will focus on around 500 drinkers in Edinburgh and Glasgow over three years.

Cabinet Secretary for Health Nicola Sturgeon said: “We are pleased to be able to support this important piece of independent research which will provide valuable information on the impact of our proposed legislation.

"The research is timely and complementary to the Scottish Government Health Directorates’ overall research programme which is in place to monitor and evaluate the impact of our Alcohol Framework.”

The study will be conducted by researchers Professor Jonathan Chick and Dr Jan Gill, Reader, of the School of Health Sciences at Queen Margaret University.

Chick said: “Pricing measures can reduce health harms from alcohol in two ways: by reducing the numbers newly recruited into heavy drinking, and by helping to moderate the drinking patterns of already established heavy drinkers.

“Our research will look at the factors which influence the habits of severe drinkers before and after the introduction of minimum unit pricing. In our pilot study, we established that this group particularly consume cheap ciders and vodka, which might be particularly damaging for brain and liver cells. We will also look at whether they turn to sourcing drink from outside Scotland or begin to consume illicit or substitute alcohols or other intoxicants.”

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