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Minimum alcohol price law unveiled in Wales

Minimum alcohol price law unveiled in Wales
From BBC - October 23, 2017

A law to set a minimum price for selling alcohol in Wales has been unveiled.

Ministers believe tackling excessive drinking could save a life a week and mean 1,400 fewer hospital admissions a year.

Pricing is seen as a "missing link" in public health efforts, alongside better awareness and treatment.

Under a 50p-a-unit formula, a typical can of cider would be at least 1 and a bottle of wine at least 4.69.

A typical litre of vodka, for example, would have to cost more than 20.

Alcohol experts from Sheffield University have studied the health picture, drinks market and consumption patterns in Wales.

The research has helped produce a formula based on the percentage strength of the alcohol and its volume to develop the minimum unit price (MUP).

While alcohol consumption levels have been falling in recent years, health officials are concerned that:

Cheap drink in supermarkets and other licensed stores is the main target and the law will also address the issue of special offers in its fine detail.

Alcohol sold below 50p per unit makes up 72% of the beer sales in Welsh shops and supermarkets, 78% of the cider sales, 42% of the wine and 66% of the spirits.

The research suggests that although high-risk drinkers make up only a quarter of people who drink alcohol, they drink 72% of all alcohol consumed and account for 65% of all spending.

"There is a very clear and direct link between levels of excessive drinking and the availability of cheap alcohol," said Public Health Minister Rebecca Evans.

"So we need to take decisive action now to address the affordability of alcohol, as part of wider efforts to tackle alcohol related harm."

It has been claimed it could:

Legislation barrier

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