AFS welcomes new WHO report exposing damaging impact of Big Alcohol on public health

Jun 12, 2024: Alcohol Focus Scotland welcomes a new report published by WHO Europe exposing the wide ranging and damaging impact of specific powerful industries in driving ill health and premature death across the continent.

Alcohol Emergency continues as latest ONS Deaths Data Published

Apr 22, 2024: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published their latest figures for alcohol specific deaths in the UK.

AFS Welcomes Parliamentary Vote to Increase MUP

Apr 17, 2024

AFS welcomes HSCSC vote in favour of increasing MUP

Mar 27, 2024: The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee has voted in favour of retaining and uprating the minimum unit price for alcohol to 65p. AFS responds.

New PHS Dashboard reveals true scale of alcohol harm

Mar 26, 2024: Alcohol Focus Scotland responds to new PHS dashboard.

Response to questions regarding AFS funding

Mar 20, 2024: Alcohol Focus Scotland is an independent charity.

Alcohol related hospital admissions down but alcohol harm still too high

Mar 19, 2024: New figures from Public Health Scotland show significant reduction in alcohol related hospital admissions. AFS responds.

Stand Firm and Save Lives

Mar 18, 2024: More than 80 organisations from across Scotland and beyond have come together to call on MSPs to increase the minimum unit price for alcohol to 65p.

AFS welcome Scottish Government plans to increase MUP

Feb 8, 2024: The Scottish Government has announced plans to continue and increase minimum unit pricing to 65p per unit. AFS respond.

Levy on supermarkets could raise £57 million a year

Feb 5, 2024: New research shows that a levy on shops and supermarkets that sell alcohol could raise £57 million a year for alcohol treatment.

Support for a Public Health Levy on alcohol sales

Jan 14, 2024: Scottish Labour calls for a Public Health Levy to be implemented on alcohol sales.

First Minister commits to reduce children’s exposure to alcohol marketing

Dec 13, 2023: First Minister Humza Yousaf MSP has signed up to support a joint campaign from AFS, SFAD, SHAAP and BMA Scotland.

Survey shows post-pandemic increase in drinking for some

Dec 5, 2023: AFS responds to concerning new figures from the Scottish Health Survey 2022.

Scottish Government commit to further plans to restrict alcohol marketing

Nov 30, 2023: Today (30 November 2023) the Scottish Government has published analysis of the responses to the consultation on alcohol advertising and promotion held earlier this year. 

Challenge and Change: Rod Anderson

Oct 2, 2023: Challenge and Change is the AFS Involvement Team blog series. For this blog post, we spoke with Rod Anderson, Chief Recovery Officer with Recovery Coaching Scotland.

Parliament must come together to renew and reinvigorate MUP

Sep 20, 2023: AFS calls on Parliament to increase MUP following new report which shows its effectiveness was eroded by inflation and COVID-19.

A ‘responsible’ drinking campaign that features cocktail recipes?

Sep 11, 2023: Alcohol Focus Scotland is "deeply concerned" that the Scottish Government has pledged to support a whisky industry campaign to raise awareness about the alcohol content of drinks.

Unacceptable rise in alcohol-specific deaths

Aug 29, 2023: 1,276 people lost their lives due to alcohol in 2022. AFS responds.

Health experts share concerns about complaint made on MUP evaluation

Aug 12, 2023: Health experts commend Scotland’s evaluation of minimum unit pricing

Newly published figures reveal 40% drop in alcohol treatment in Scotland over 10 years

Jul 26, 2023: AFS responds to newly published alcohol treatment figures, highlighting the 40% decrease and calling for action.

Challenge and Change: Lived Experience Voices on Alcohol Marketing

Jul 4, 2023: Challenge and Change is the AFS Involvement Team blog series. In this blog post, the Involvement team shares their work on alcohol marketing and share the voices of lived and living experience.

Blog post for Alcohol Awareness Week 2023: Interview with Diane Thomson

Jul 3, 2023: Interview with Diane Thomson, Senior Learning and Engagement Coordinator, for Alcohol Awareness Week 2023.

Public Health Scotland evaluation supports continuation of MUP

Jun 27, 2023: The final verdict from PHS supports the continuation of MUP

Alcohol and diabetes: a guest blog post from Diabetes Scotland

Jun 7, 2023: Guest bloggers from Diabetes Scotland discuss relationship between alcohol consumption and diabetes.

Doctors say lack of response on alcohol deaths could spell disaster for Scotland

Apr 19, 2023: 36 charities and medical bodies call for strong leadership to tackle highest level of deaths since 2008.

MUP reduces deaths and hospital admissions

Mar 21, 2023: AFS responds to new evidence published by Public Health Scotland (PHS) and The Lancet showing the impact of alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP) on deaths and hospital admissions attributable to alcohol consumption.

Alcohol hospital admissions continue to be too high

Feb 28, 2023: New figures from Public Health Scotland show equivalent someone being admitted to hospital every 15minutes for an alcohol-related conditions.

Restricting alcohol advertising in Scotland – Lessons learned from countries with existing restrictions

Feb 22, 2023: New blog: Dr Richard Purves summarises case studies from European countries with alcohol marketing restrictions

What is the effect of alcohol marketing on people with or at risk of an alcohol problem?

Jan 4, 2023: New blog from Prof Rachael Murray, University of Nottingham, highlights effect of alcohol marketing on people with alcohol problems.

ONS figures show highest alcohol deaths on record

Dec 8, 2022: Alcohol-specific deaths rise likely caused by increased consumption during pandemic.

New PHS report: MUP and alcohol sales

Nov 22, 2022: AFS responds to new Public Health Scotland report on the impact of minimum unit pricing on alcohol sales after three years of implementation.

Scottish Government launches alcohol marketing consultation

Nov 17, 2022: AFS responds to Scottish Government consultation on alcohol marketing.

New PHS report: MUP and alcohol products and prices

Nov 15, 2022: AFS responds to new Public Health Scotland report on the impact of minimum unit pricing on alcohol products and prices.

New licensing policy review guide

Oct 25, 2022: New Alcohol Focus Scotland licensing policy review guide.

Health campaigners call on Scottish Government to regulate alcohol packaging

Jul 19, 2022: Study funded by AFS reveals impact of alcohol packaging on young people.

Scottish charity calls for ban on all alcohol promotion

Jun 28, 2022: AFS and a group of international experts call on the Scottish Government to introduce a ban on alcohol marketing.

New NCD Prevention Coalition Report - Mapping Future Harm

Jun 8, 2022: New NCD Prevention Coalition Report: "Mapping Future Harm". June 2022.

Online Alcohol Sales & Deliveries: A survey of young people in Scotland

May 15, 2022: New report from Alcohol Focus Scotland looking at online alcohol sales and deliveries to children and young people. May 2022.

Four years of minimum unit pricing

May 1, 2022: Scotland introduced MUP four years ago - where are we now?

Prominent health warnings on alcohol products make drinking “unappealing”, new study finds

Apr 11, 2022

Insights from People in Recovery

Mar 15, 2022: Find out more about why engaging with people in recovery is important.

Report on alcohol sales and harm in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic

Feb 22, 2022: Rise in harm from alcohol despite decrease in consumption

Sugar content in wine revealed: Health experts deem alcohol labelling ‘woefully inadequate’

Feb 16, 2022: Health experts call for better alcohol labelling as it is revealed that wine can contain anywhere between 0g and 59g of sugar per bottle.

Alcohol hospital admissions lower during pandemic

Feb 1, 2022: Lower hospital admissions may mean people were not seeking help during the pandemic.

Study reveals those already at risk from heavy drinking bought more alcohol during lockdowns

Jan 20, 2022: New study reveals those already at risk of harm from heavy drinking bought significantly more alcohol during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Alcohol policy measures could reduce ambulance callouts

Dec 14, 2021: Initial dramatic decline in lockdown alcohol-related ambulance callouts reverted to pre-pandemic levels as home drinking increased.

Widespread support to increase MUP

Nov 19, 2021: 28 organisations support AFS and SHAAP’s calls to increase the minimum unit price.

Three quarters of Scots back new controls to help protect children from alcohol advertising

Aug 31, 2021: The poll of Scottish adults found 75% of Scots support controls to limit the exposure of children and young people to alcohol advertising

More accurate estimates for the burden of Alcohol on the Ambulance Service: around 1 in 6 callouts in Scotland are alcohol related

Aug 9, 2021: Evidence on the impact of alcohol on the Scottish Ambulance service.

How can alcohol labels be improved to help people make informed consumption choices

Jul 26, 2021: Blog from researchers exploring what works on alcohol labels

Health experts call for better alcohol labelling

Jul 14, 2021: New research shows the public do not know the nutritional information of alcohol

Young people and their views on alcohol marketing

Jun 25, 2021: Young people share their thoughts on alcohol and alcohol marketing in their daily lives.

Minimum unit pricing has lasting impact study shows

Jun 22, 2021: Lancet study shows MUP is having impact in Scotland

Euros renews call for action to protect children from alcohol sports sponsorship

Jun 18, 2021: Alcohol Focus Scotland call on the Scottish Government to curb sponsorship of professional sport by alcohol companies.

Lowest alcohol sales in Scotland for 26 years

Jun 17, 2021: Alcohol sales fell to 9.4 litres per adult in 2020

Current alcohol labelling of little relevance to young adult drinkers

May 26, 2021: Visible, meaningful health information and warnings may help to inform the public about potential risks.

Governments should step up efforts to tackle harmful alcohol consumption

May 24, 2021: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report found an increase in alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic and that comprehensive alcohol policy measures are needed to tackle alcohol harm.

Scottish public and leading health experts back changes to alcohol labelling

May 11, 2021: New figures suggest people in Scotland would back plans to include calorie and health information on alcohol products.

AFS calls for 65p minimum unit price for alcohol

Apr 30, 2021: AFS are calling on the next Scottish Government to prioritise reviewing and raising the minimum price for alcohol to optimise its benefits.

How will the main parties prevent harm from alcohol?

Apr 29, 2021: What policies and commitments have been made by Scotland's five main parties ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections

Alcohol labelling reform is way past its sell by date

Apr 26, 2021: Some alcoholic drinks contain a shocking amount of sugar, but how would you know?

Alcohol Focus Scotland launches manifesto to tackle harm from alcohol

Mar 26, 2021: Ahead of the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary elections AFS has launched their new manifesto calling on all candidates and parties to commit to addressing alcohol harm.

Young drinkers believe prominent health warnings on alcohol could boost risk awareness

Mar 3, 2021: Health information, messaging and warnings on alcohol packaging: A focus group study with young adult drinkers in Scotland

Alcohol sales and consumption in Scotland during the pandemic

Feb 16, 2021: Alcohol sales drop during pandemic but still concerns over solitary drinking.

How can we prevent alcohol deaths?

Nov 27, 2020: Recent statistics show alcohol deaths are still alarmingly high. What is AFS doing to help prevent alcohol-specific deaths in the future?

Alcohol Deaths and Minimum Unit Pricing

Nov 25, 2020: We asked Colin Angus, from the University of Sheffield team to look at what the recent alcohol-specific death stats tell us about MUP.

Young Scots show support for restrictions on alcohol marketing

Nov 20, 2020: Young Scot health panellist Alexandra Taylor blogs about her experience and further research into young people's views on alcohol marketing restrictions.

YoungScot Health Panel report on alcohol marketing and harm

Nov 19, 2020: YoungScot Health panel publish new report Preventing Harm - Alcohol Marketing and Young People

Better alcohol labelling - A way to boost awareness of the risk between alcohol and cancer?

Oct 29, 2020: Ben Chiu, Policy Manager at Cancer Research UK explores the link between alcohol and cancer, and why governments should consider requiring alcohol product to contain health information on labels.

Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support

Sep 24, 2020: AFS publishes guidance for undertaking local alcohol deaths reviews.

Almost half of Scots in favour of minimum unit pricing

Sep 22, 2020: Analysis by Public Health Scotland of the 2019 Scottish social attitudes survey found 49.8% people asked supported the measure

Health experts campaign for better understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Sep 8, 2020: Health advocates campaign to help prevent FASD in Scotland.

Health experts call for alcohol labelling overhaul

Aug 26, 2020: Health experts and charities call for the governments to take responsibility for mandating labelling on alcohol products as new research finds current system failing.

Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress

Jul 23, 2020: 51% of people who drank more than usual during lockdown reported doing so as a way to handle stress.

Victory for public health as Australian ministers agree to visible pregnancy warning

Jul 17, 2020

Alcohol Focus Scotland welcomes new WHO report on alcohol pricing

Jul 1, 2020: The new report highlights minimum unit pricing as an approach that can reduce both alcohol consumption and health inequalities.

Statistical analysis of off-trade alcohol sales in the year following MUP

Jun 10, 2020: New report published by Public Health Scotland showed there had been a reduction in off-sales of alcohol of between 4% and 5% in the year after minimum unit pricing was introduced.

Alcohol Focus Scotland Review of statements of licensing policy 2018 – 2023

Jun 8, 2020: AFS reviewed the policies published in November 2018 to identify any emerging trends in licensing approaches, and the extent to which the documents meet legal requirements and go beyond them to incorporate good practice. Read more.

We need to continue long-term focus on alcohol

May 1, 2020: Minimum unit pricing has been in place for two years, but what impact will the current circumstances have?

Scots report changing drinking patterns during coronavirus lockdown

Apr 23, 2020: Polling suggests more than a million adults in Scotland have cut down on drinking

Time to Blow the Whistle on Alcohol Sport Sponsorship

Mar 4, 2020: Alcohol Focus Scotland and SHAAP call for ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport

New evidence demonstrates that alcohol ads lead to youth drinking

Feb 24, 2020: New evidence concludes that the marketing of alcoholic drinks is one cause of underage drinking.

Alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP

Jan 28, 2020

First study published into under 18 drinkers post MUP

Jan 23, 2020: Health Scotland publish first study looking into under 18 drinkers post MUP.

Two years on: Are annual functions reports reaching their potential?

Nov 29, 2019: Aidan Collins, AFS Senior Coordinator, reflects on the new requirement for licensing boards to produce annual functions reports, and asks - two years on - whether the reports are having their intended effect.

Scottish primary children call for action on alcohol

Sep 19, 2019: Members of Children's Parliament share how being around alcohol can make them feel unsafe and ignored.

It’s time to tell us what’s in our drinks

Sep 9, 2019: The Scottish Government is considering taking control of alcohol labelling - and not a minute too soon

A home for Rory

Sep 5, 2019: Working with foster carers or kinship carers? Let us introduce A Home for Rory series of books

Alcohol sales and MUP

Jun 28, 2019: Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, discusses the encouraging figures from the MESAS monitoring report and why we should remain confident that MUP will improve Scotland’s health.

Lowest alcohol sales in 25 years

Jun 19, 2019: The volume of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland in 2018 has fallen to its lowest level since 1994.

The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood

Jun 3, 2019: We believe our children have the right enjoy a happy childhood, free from the emotional and physical impact of other people’s drinking and alcohol marketing.

Minimum unit pricing - one year on

Apr 30, 2019: 1st May 2019 marks the 1st anniversary of the implementation of minimum unit pricing of alcohol in Scotland. Scotland was the first country in the world to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol (MUP), following a ten year campaign.

More about sales data

Apr 10, 2019

A family of resources - it is all about prevention, education and resilience

Mar 29, 2019

AFS publish Review of Licensing Board Annual Functions Reports 2017-2018

Mar 27, 2019

Marketing unmasked: dispelling the myths and taking a stand

Mar 1, 2019

No place for alcohol marketing in sport

Feb 20, 2019

Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)

Jan 23, 2019

The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm

Nov 30, 2018

Scotland’s new drug and alcohol strategy launched

Nov 28, 2018

AFS welcome new alcohol framework

Nov 20, 2018

Recent reporting on alcohol sales data

Oct 24, 2018

Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products

Oct 2, 2018

Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking

Sep 14, 2018

Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities

Aug 24, 2018: NHS Scotland's report finds "twice as likely to die early or live with ill health if you live in the poorest areas."

Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives

May 1, 2018

AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol

Mar 27, 2018

Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year

Feb 1, 2018: New report shows truer picture of alcohol's contribution to ill health in Scotland.

Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed

Jan 31, 2018: Latest blog from Alison Douglas, Chief Executive.

Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction

Dec 13, 2017: New report shows action needed to ensure licensing works more effectively to protect people and communities from alcohol-related harm.

Minimum pricing blog

Nov 20, 2017: Alison Douglas, AFS Chief Executive, talks about the long road to get minimum pricing implemented in Scotland.

Minimum pricing gets green light

Nov 15, 2017: Landmark victory for public health as UK Supreme Court rejects Scotch Whisky Association appeal.

Alcohol brands and young people

Nov 3, 2017: Cancer Research UK report explores views of 13-18 year olds on alcohol marketing and finds alcohol ads appeal to young people and influence their choices.

Time for honest conversations about alcohol

Oct 27, 2017: Latest blog by Alison Douglas, AFS Chief Executive.

Q&A on alcohol marketing

Oct 20, 2017: Prof Karine Gallopel-Morvan discusses the impact of alcohol marketing and what steps we can take to protect children.

UK children anxious about parents' drinking

Oct 18, 2017: Report finds low-level parental drinking can leave children feeling worried, embarrassed and facing more arguments.

Alcohol producers failing to inform public

Aug 23, 2017: Alcohol product labels failing to include information on low-risk drinking guidelines or health harms.

Concern over alcohol-related deaths

Aug 21, 2017: Alcohol Focus Scotland and national partners write to Cabinet Secretary and Minister urging action.

We need to make it easier for people to drink less

Aug 15, 2017: Every week, we are buying enough alcohol for every person in Scotland to substantially exceed the weekly drinking guideline.

Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths

Aug 2, 2017: 10% rise in alcohol-related deaths between 2015 and 2016.

Minimum pricing will save lives

Jul 24, 2017: Final appeal at the UK Supreme Court this week.

Pocket money prices for alcohol continue

Jul 20, 2017: Price check reveals cheap, strong alcohol available for as little as 16p per unit.

Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare

Jun 21, 2017: Alcohol-related deaths in Scotland are 54% higher than in England and Wales.

One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk

May 23, 2017: Evidence in new report by World Cancer Research Fund.

Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol

May 11, 2017: Study finds harmful impacts of alcohol are higher in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option

Jan 4, 2017: Children in Scotland should play, learn and socialise in places that are healthy and safe, free from exposure to alcohol marketing and harm.

SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing

Dec 21, 2016: Appeal means further delay to introduction of this life-saving measure.

SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court

Nov 18, 2016: AFS criticises Scotch Whisky Association for further delaying life-saving minimum pricing policy.

SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision

Oct 28, 2016: Public health and charity leaders sign open letter.

Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland

Oct 21, 2016: Great news for Scotland's health - Court of Session rejects Scotch Whisky Association's appeal.

Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse

Aug 24, 2016: New survey reveals 999 workers report that alcohol is a contributory factor in around half of all incidents.

Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm

Jul 15, 2016: Shift to home drinking means a shift in where harm takes place.

Minimum pricing - European court ruling

Dec 23, 2015: Scottish court to decide whether minimum pricing more effective than taxation at protecting health.

10 year olds more familiar with beer brands than biscuits

Feb 5, 2015: Campaigners are calling for stricter alcohol marketing regulations to protect children and young people after research found 95% of 10 and 11 year olds recognised a beer brand.

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The figures

£5-10 billion
Amount that alcohol use costs Scotland per year