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Health community to SWA: "Stop fighting minimum pricing"

A group of health experts led by Alcohol Focus Scotland have published an open letter urging the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) to drop their lawsuit against the Scottish Government over minimum unit pricing without further delay, in order to "cut alcohol-related hospital admissions and save lives".

Passed almost two years ago, The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 – which was designed to set a minimum price of 50p per unit for alcohol – has yet to be introduced due to a challenge from the SWA and other alcohol industry players that is currently going through the courts.

Signed by a number of signatories – including the Institute of Alcohol Studies – the letter states that by mirroring the tactics of the tobacco industry in delaying life-saving legislation, they are "undermining the united view of the Scottish Parliament, ignoring the democratic process and costing taxpayers thousands of pounds in legal bills" and that getting rid of ultra-cheap alcohol through minimum pricing "will make a genuine, lasting difference to health, crime and society".

The letter is available to view on the Alcohol Focus Scotland website.