Short term impact of minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland


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  • Advocates of minimum pricing predicted that it would have an almost immediate impact in Scotland, with modelling forecasting 58 fewer deaths and 1,299 fewer hospital admissions in the first year.

  • In the eight months after minimum pricing was introduced, alcohol-related mortality fell at the same rate in Scotland as it did in England and Wales (seven per cent).

  • Alcohol-related hospital admissions rose slightly in Scotland in 2018/19 under minimum pricing.

  • The median Scottish household (by income) spent an extra £100.88 on alcohol in the first year of minimum pricing while the median income group in England spent an extra £44.20, a difference of £56.68 per annum. Those on below-average incomes have been hit hardest, with those in the bottom income group increasing their expenditure on alcohol by eleven per cent.

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Head of Lifestyle Economics, IEA

Christopher Snowdon is the Head of Lifestyle Economics at the IEA. He is the author of The Art of Suppression, The Spirit Level Delusion and Velvet Glove; Iron Fist. His work focuses on pleasure, prohibition and dodgy statistics. He has authored a number of papers, including "Sock Puppets", "Euro Puppets", "The Proof of the Pudding", "The Crack Cocaine of Gambling" and "Free Market Solutions in Health".