Monday, 18 January 2010

Minimum pricing for alcohol - it's obvious isn't it?

I go from feeling enthused by the debate about minimum pricing for alcohol to feeling completely fed up with it. The former happens when more and more and more people get behind the proposals as has been happening lately - I especially like reading about them that get into trouble from the boss. The latter only happens when I have to listen to the likes of the guy on Newsnight Scotland tonight who just rubbished the Sheffield University study that showed minimum pricing WILL have an effect on problem drinkers.

He completely slated the idea but I'd say that perhaps these academics did their homework and studied other countries who have introduced minimum pricing. And perhaps they are basing their findings on ACTUAL findings of studies of problem drinkers in other countries. It will come as no surprise to hear that the guy who said this was all nonsense works for some alcohol association.

To me it's obvious. If we introduce minimum pricing then alcohol will become LESS accessible to drinkers starting out. If it's LESS accessible, they'll drink LESS of it and are LESS likely to develop into problem drinkers. There are many indepth arguments and there is the aforementioned study and, of course, the evidence from abroad. But sometimes it pays to point out the obvious as I just have. Sometimes it really IS very simple.

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