Scots are drinking far more than the English and Welsh
- and action needs to be taken to cut price promotions and restrict availability, according to doctors.
Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems has dismissed earlier claims by the Portman Group - backed by surveys - that Scots are drinking less than people in the rest of Britain
and, says Nielsen data proves they are
drinking two litres more of pure alcohol per head per year.
In a statement, SHAAP said the data helped explain why, in Scotland, rates of chronic liver disease are double those of England and Wales; why men in Scotland are twice as likely to die an
alcohol-related death than men in England; and why women in Scotland have a higher alcohol-related death rate than men in England.
Chairman Dr Bruce Ritson said: "What these figures reinforce is the need to act now to reduce overall alcohol consumption in Scotland. The most effective
means of reducing the demand for alcohol are to regulate price and availability.
"Over the past few decades we have seen a progressive liberalisation of the alcohol market in the UK, with
available in more places, for longer periods,
at more affordable prices.
In that time we have
seen a rise in consumption and
in alcohol-related damage."
SHAAP said it backed the Scottish
curb alcohol misuse , includ ing
minimum pricing , a ban on promotions, separate checkouts for alcohol and a potential raising of the legal purchasing age for alcohol from 18 to 21.
David Poley, said: " The most reliable
data is from the Office of National Statistics. Th is shows
Scots drink less than
the rest of Britain.
"We recognise that people may under-estimate how much they drink, but expect any under-estimation to be consistent over time and regions. SHAAP are implying that Scots are the biggest liars in Britain. Frankly, this
Litres of pure alcohol consumed per person (16+)
Scotland England and Wales
Light wines 2.8