Alcohol price law 'important tool' in tackling drinking

Alcohol price law 'important tool' in tackling drinking
From BBC - March 12, 2018

Assembly members have been urged to back minimum unit pricing for alcohol as a "major new and important tool" in tackling harmful drinking in Wales.

Ahead of a debate on a proposed law, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said evidence from other countries showed a link between price and consumption.

But the minister warned minimum pricing would not work "in isolation".

He promised an extra 1m for health boards to tackle substance misuse, amid fears drinkers may switch to drugs.

AMs will decide later whether the Welsh Government's Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill should pass its first stage and go on to detailed consideration by assembly committees.

If passed by the assembly later in 2018, the measure should take effect 12 months after the bill's royal assent.

"Wales, like so many other western countries, has a problem with cheap, strong, readily-available alcohol," Mr Gething said.

Echoing the findings of the assembly's health committee last week, the minister said minimum pricing was "not a silver bullet" but would be "a major new and important tool in our approach to reducing alcohol consumption".

"By introducing a minimum price, we can make a difference - as we have done with the smoking ban, which demonstrated our determination to create a different future for the people of Wales," he said.

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