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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12746: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 16 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to tackle the reported five-fold increase in alcohol-related liver disease among 35 to 55-year-olds in the last decade.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 30 November 2017

The Scottish Government’s alcohol strategy, Changing Scotland's Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action, is well regarded internationally and contains over 40 measures to tackle alcohol misuse. The Framework has been shown to have a positive impact including 2.6 per cent reduction in consumption due to the multi-buy discount ban; increased delivery of Alcohol Brief Interventions; legislation to ban irresponsible promotions and the introduction of a lower drink drive limit. There is no doubt, however, that a key factor in alcohol related harm is affordability which is why we are delighted with the judgment from the UK Supreme Court, confirming unanimously the legality of our minimum unit pricing policy in Scotland. We have set out an implementation timetable which will see the measure brought in on 1 May 2018.

The latest statistics for alcohol liver disease are showing a worrying rise in hospital stays for the fourth consecutive year. This highlights the need for continued action to reduce alcohol-related harm in Scotland. We are in the process of refreshing our Framework and will consider what further action to take to reduce alcohol-related harm.