AHA calls for MUP in England as Scottish sales fall to lowest level in 25 years

19 June 2019: The Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA) is calling for the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol (MUP) in England following the release of new data revealing the volume of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level since 1994

The 2019 MESAS Monitoring Report published today (Wednesday 19 June) by NHS Health Scotland, shows that there has been a 3% fall in alcohol sales per adult in Scotland in 2018 from the previous year. This is in contrast to England, where consumption has increased by 1.5%. Scotland introduced MUP in May 2018.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, commented: “It is highly encouraging to see the drop in alcohol sales in Scotland to their lowest in 25 years.

“When minimum unit pricing for alcohol was introduced in Scotland just over a year ago, it was a significant breakthrough for the public’s health. The MESAS figures show that the policy is beginning to result in less harmful drinking.

“In England and Wales, where MUP has not been implemented, consumption has gone up, meaning levels of harm are likely to continue to rise. Wales will introduce MUP early in 2020 and it is vital that England does not get left behind.

“The decrease in sales especially impacted off-sales while the trend in on-sales remains largely unchanged. This suggests that MUP is an effective way to tackle the cheap, high-strength alcohol that causes so much harm to so many families. To protect some of our most vulnerable communities, we urge the UK Government to follow Scotland’s example and bring in MUP in England too.”