Scottish ban fails to impact alcohol

28 June, 2012

A report by NHS Scotland has shown “no obvious change” in alcohol sales as a result of the ban on multibuy promotions on alcohol in Scotland.

The report showed a 4.2% drop in overall per adult sales volumes of alcohol in the 33 weeks after the ban was introduced last October, but it also said there had been a reduction in sales of 3.3% in England and Wales in the same period.

Wine, beer and spirits all saw declines of between 4% and 5% in Scotland, though cider got off lightly with sales more or less flat.

The report concluded that the decline in Scotland was “not inconsistent with trends which appear to have begun slightly earlier elsewhere [in the UK] and may simply be part of an overall trend due to factors other than the ban”.

The Scottish government said in response that “the quantity discount ban will be most effective when used alongside minimum pricing”, which is scheduled to come into force in Scotland some time after April next year.

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