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Northern Ireland in Favour of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP)

The latest survey into drinking habits in Northern Ireland shows that the majority of people are in favour of MUP.

The survey commissioned by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is designed to provide an up-to-date picture of adult drinking in Northern Ireland. For the first time, attitudes to drinking and views on minimum unit pricing of alcohol were included in the research.

Minimum unit pricing of alcohol, by setting a floor price for a unit of alcohol is designed to impactmost on harmful drinkers (i.e. those that regularly drink more than sensible drinking guidelines). Themore alcohol a drink contains, the stronger it is and therefore the more expensive it will be.

The report revealed that two-thirds of respondents (68%) had heard of minimum unit pricing of alcohol prior to the survey, and that three-fifths of respondents (60%) were in favour of the policy.

This demonstrates that the huge level of support for MUP from health experts and frontline workers, including doctors and the police, is also becoming reflected in wider society. The popular approval of the policy indicates that it is time for the government to act on MUP and have a greater role in the alcohol domain.