In 2012 the Scottish Government passed legislation to introduce a Minimum Unit Price (MUP) to tackle the problems caused by cheap alcohol.
Research from the University of Sheffield shows that a Minimum Unit Price of 50p (0.63 euros) would save over 300 lives each year in Scotland (equivalent to reducing alcohol-related deaths by over 17%). Allowing for the different population size, this would be equivalent to 30,000 lives saved every year across the European Union.
The greatest health benefits from Minimum Unit Pricing are estimated to be among hazardous and harmful drinkers, especially those in lower income groups. Alcohol-related deaths in the most deprived areas of Scotland are around 7.7 times higher than in the least deprived areas.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and other European wine and spirits trade groups representing global producers, have taken action against the proposal, claiming that it breaches the UK's European Union (EU) treaty obligations. However Minimum Unit Price is supported by some parts of the alcohol industry who recognise that effective regulation is essential for a sustainable industry.
The European Court of Justice has been asked for an opinion on the measure and Member States and other parties will be asked to submit their views over the next few months.
This event, immediately after EPHA's annual conference, is an opportunity to hear why Scotland introduced this measure, including the opinions of health and trade experts who support the measure and to contribute your view. Scotland is one of the first countries to introduce the groundbreaking measure, which has stimulated much debate and the discussion will be lively.
Location: Résidence Palace, 155 Rue de la Loi, Brussels, 1040, Belgium
Time: 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
We look forward to meeting you on the 5th September.