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What has happened to alcohol-related deaths and hospitalisations in Scotland since minimum unit pricing was brought in?

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol was brought in in Scotland by the Scottish government in May 2018 – a minimum price of 50 pence per unit of alcohol.

Previous studies have looked at how alcohol sales changed after the policy was brought in, but this is the first study to examine whether deaths and hospitalisations due to alcohol consumption have changed since May 2018.

This observational study – led by scientists at Public Health Scotland and the University of Glasgow – uses data on alcohol-specific deaths and hospitalisations in Scotland and England both before and after minimum unit pricing was brought in (England data was included as a control, as it doesn’t have the policy) to assess possible impact.

This study has been published in the Lancet.

Journalists dialled in to this briefing to hear authors of the study describe their work, and to ask any questions.


Speakers included:

Dr Grant Wyper, Public Health Intelligence Adviser, Public Health Scotland; and Honorary Research Fellow (School of Health & Wellbeing) at the University of Glasgow

Ms Lucie Giles, Public Health Intelligence Principal, Public Health Scotland


This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.

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