Scottish government’s alcohol proposal could see 9pm advert watershed

The Scottish government has unveiled a 20-point plan aimed at eradicating “the stereotype of the hardened Scots drinker” and providing people, particularly the young, with support to tackle alcohol related-harm.

Published yesterday (20 November), Alcohol Framework 2018 is a 20-point strategy aimed at reducing harmful drinking in Scotland.

In his foreword in the document, Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said that each of the alcohol and drug related deaths in Scotland last year (which totalled 2,054) were preventable.

He said: “For too long, the stereotype of the ‘hardened Scots drinker’ has prevailed. No more. It’s time for a cultural shift towards a more balanced relationship with alcohol across our society. This updated framework begins the next stage in that journey”.

With a focus on protecting young people in particular, the framework states that the impact and base price of minimum unit pricing will be accessed following two years of enforcement, inferring that there is a possibility that alcohol prices could rise once again in Scotland.

In addition, the document states that the Scottish government 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”.

Such a measure is already being considered by the UK government for unhealthy food product advertising, and if not enforced, the Scottish government will ask that the powers be devolved so that it can act in isolation.

Linked to this, the Scottish government will research a range of potential measures, which include mandatory restrictions on alcohol marketing, in order to prevent exposure to children and young people.

It is also calling on the drinks industry and producers to have more informative labelling. Measures are already in place to enforce this across the UK with alcohol producers given the deadline of September 2019 by which time their packaging should meet guidelines. The Scottish government said that once again it would be prepared to act alone should the deadline not be met.

According to figures cited in the report, since 2008/9, the Scottish government has spent over £746 million on “higher-risk alcohol and problematic drug use”.

In May 2018, Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing, six years after first passing the law.

The minimum unit price of 50 pence means that a bottle of wine cannot be sold for under £4.69, a four-pack of 500ml beer cans for under £4 and a bottle of whisky for less than £14.

One Response to “Scottish government’s alcohol proposal could see 9pm advert watershed”

  1. Peter says:

    Yet they brag about supporting the Industry & creating vast exports of alcohol around the world gaining vast amounts of tax & duty in Scotland, – a prime example of a NIMBY government, rather reminiscent of the attitude of Government & tobacco companies in the past. They would be better looking at their huge obesity problem that is putting an even greater strain on their struggling SNHS!

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