Minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland will save '120 lives a year' say Sheffield experts

A minimum price per unit of alcohol will be introduced in Scotland
A minimum price per unit of alcohol will be introduced in Scotland
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Experts at the University of Sheffield claim the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol will save lives.

Scotland has become the first country in the world to bring in a minimum price per unit of alcohol - a move which has been applauded by health campaigners.

Professor Petra Meier

Professor Petra Meier

The Scottish Government commissioned the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group at the University of Sheffield to examine the case and city experts claim the move will save 120 lives a year once the policy takes 'full effect'.

The changes will hit the heaviest drinkers who consume higher strength alcohol.

Professor Petra Meier from the University of Sheffield said: ''It is estimated that once it has reached its full effect, the introduction of a 50p minimum unit price in Scotland would result in 120 fewer alcohol-related deaths and 2,000 fewer hospital admissions per year."

She added that moderate drinkers would only be 'affected to a much smaller degree'.

Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England, said the body looked forward to 'learning more from the experience in Scotland'.

He said: "Our evidence review in 2016 found that minimum unit pricing targets the cheapest and strongest alcohol favoured by the young and heaviest drinkers, and is effective in reducing the devastating harm alcohol can cause."