Doctors welcome Scotland booze crackdown

Plans for new restrictions on alcohol advertising in Scotland have been welcomed by the medical profession.

Last week, the Scottish Government published its updated Alcohol Framework which included a range of measures to reduce consumption and foster more positive attitudes towards drinking.

Among the options are for mandatory restrictions on alcohol marketing, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, to protect children and young people from alcohol marketing in Scotland.

The Scottish Government also said it would press the UK Government to protect children and young people from exposure to alcohol marketing on television before the 9pm watershed and in cinemas, or else devolve the powers so the Scottish Parliament can act.

BMA Scotland, the trade union and professional body for doctors and medical students, said the document showed that the Scottish Government recognised that the scale of the problems caused by Scotland’s relationship with alcohol means it must continue to take bold action.

“The evidence has long been clear that the most effective ways of reducing alcohol consumption are through measures that impact on alcohol’s price, availability and marketing,” said Chair of BMA Scotland, Dr Lewis Morrison. “This updated framework gives us an opportunity to do more to tackle the pervasive marketing and availability of alcohol in Scotland.”

The framework also commits the Scottish Government to evaluating the impacts of minimum unit pricing during its first five years of operation.

In an exclusive interview with Footprint, to be published on Monday, C&C Group chief executive Stephen Glancey said sales of its market leading Tennent’s brand had yet to be negatively impacted by the policy, which imposed a minimum price of 50p per unit on alcoholic drink sales when it came into effect in May.

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