Minimum price 'may not affect binge-drinking'

25 January, 2012

Minimum unit pricing may not stop young people binge-drinking, one of the academics behind the influential Sheffield Report on alcohol pricing has said.

Dr John Holmes, of the University of Sheffield, told Holyrood’s Health & Sport Committee, which is investigating Scotland’s plan to introduce a minimum unit price on alcohol, that it is unclear how much of an effect the proposals would have on binge-drinking.

He said: “If people are saying this is going to have a huge impact on young people binge-drinking, it’s not exactly clear if that will be the case.

“There will be some impact and we can see the model predicts there will be reductions in various types of crimes.

“Part of that is to do with some on-trade alcohol being sold at low prices. Part of it is to do with some alcohol-related crime following binge-drinking sessions which started with drinking at home.”

But his colleague Professor Alan Brennan said he would be very surprised if there was no positive effect on health from a minimum unit price on alcohol.

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