The Scottish Government will bring forward legislation to tackle alcohol misuse across Scottish society.
Alcohol misuse is widespread across all socio-economic groups and is estimated to cost Scotland at least £2.25 billion per year in extra services and lost productivity - £500 for every adult.
Alcohol related death rates in Scotland have doubled in the last fifteen years. A recent report for Scotland showed that in 2003, 1 in 20 of all deaths in Scotland were attributable to alcohol.
More than 42,000 hospital discharges and 111,000 GP consultations in 2007-08 were due to alcohol related illness and injury. Over the last 20 years Scotland has had one of the fastest growing chronic liver disease and cirrhosis rates in the world.
Alcohol misuse also has a significant impact on crime levels, antisocial behaviour and family breakdown.
Key proposals of the bill will include:
- Minimum pricing to reduce alcohol consumption and harm and to stop high strength alcohol being sold at 'pocket money prices'
- Further bans on irresponsible promotions and restricting marketing activity in off-sales locations such as supermarkets
- Ensuring smaller measures of wine are made available in on-sales
- Placing a duty on Licensing Boards to consider raising the purchase age of alcohol to 21 in all or part of their area
- Establishing the power to introduce a Social Responsibility Fee for some retailers
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