- Alcohol-specific deaths in Scotland increase
- Four years of MUP
- Australian ministers agree to visible pregnancy warning
- Prominent health warnings make drinking “unappealing”
- Insights from People in Recovery
- Meet our Engagement Team Marc
- Meet our Engagement Team Megan
- Report on alcohol sales and harm in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Sugar content in wine revealed
- Alcohol hospital admissions lower during pandemic
- Study reveals those already at risk from heavy drinking bought more alcohol during lockdowns
- Alcohol policy measures could reduce ambulance callouts
- 18.6% increase in deaths from alcohol in 2020
- Widespread support for calls to increase minimum unit price for alcohol to 65p
- Health charities call for action to save lives from Scotlands biggest killers
- Students as Change Agents
- Three quarters of Scots back new controls to help protect children from alcohol advertising
- More accurate estimates for the burden of Alcohol on the Ambulance Service: around 1 in 6 callouts in Scotland are alcohol related
- How can alcohol labels be improved to help people make informed consumption choices
- Health experts call for better alcohol labelling
- Young people and their views on alcohol marketing
- Lowest alcohol sales in Scotland for 26 years
- Minimum unit pricing has lasting impact study shows
- Euros renews call for action to protect children from alcohol sports sponsorship
- Current alcohol labelling of little relevance to young adult drinkers
- Governments should step up efforts to tackle harmful alcohol consumption
- Scottish public and leading health experts back changes to alcohol labelling
- AFS calls for 65p minimum unit price for alcohol
- How will the main parties prevent harm from alcohol?
- Alcohol labelling reform is way past its sell by date
- Alcohol policy priorities for the next parliament
- Young drinkers believe prominent health warnings on alcohol could boost risk awareness
- Alcohol and the Workplace Effective Interventions
- Alcohol sales and consumption in Scotland during the pandemic
- How can we prevent alcohol deaths?
- Alcohol Deaths and Minimum Unit Pricing
- Young Scots show support for restrictions on alcohol marketing
- YoungScot Health Panel report on alcohol marketing and harm
- New release of alcohol related hospital admissions
- Better alcohol labelling – A way to boost awareness of the risk between alcohol and cancer?
- Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support
- Almost half of Scots in favour of minimum unit pricing
- NICE Guidelines on FASD Surveillance or Support?
- Leading health charities call for action in Scotland
- Health experts campaign for better understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Health experts call for alcohol labelling overhaul
- Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress
- Alcohol Focus Scotland welcomes new WHO report on alcohol pricing
- Statistical analysis of off-trade alcohol sales in the year following MUP
- Alcohol Focus Scotland Review of statements of licensing policy 2018 to 2023
- We need to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- Scots report changing drinking patterns during coronavirus lockdown
- Time to Blow the Whistle on Alcohol Sport Sponsorship
- New evidence demonstrates that alcohol ads lead to youth drinking
- Alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP
- First study published into under 18 drinkers post MUP
- Commission on Alcohol Harm calls for evidence
- Two years on Are annual functions reports reaching their potential?
- We need to do more to protect our children and young people
- Scottish primary children call for action on alcohol
- New Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support Now Available from AFS
- Its time to tell us whats in our drinks
- A home for Rory
- Making a bad impression - blog post
- Alcohol sales and MUP
- Alcohol marketing and children debate in the Scottish Parliament
- Lowest alcohol sales in 25 years
- Research into fall in violence
- The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood
- Minimum unit pricing one year on
- More about sales data
- A family of resources it is all about prevention, education and resilience
- AFS publish Review of Licensing Board Annual Functions Reports 2017-2018
- Marketing unmasked dispelling the myths and taking a stand
- No place for alcohol marketing in sport
- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol: a global concern
Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
New report shows action needed to ensure licensing works more effectively to protect people and communities from alcohol-related harm.
Eight years since the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 came fully into force, Taking Stock: Views and experiences of alcohol licensing in Scotland in 2016/17 reports on progress within the licensing system and makes recommendations for improvement.
The report has been informed by the views of those involved in the licensing system who attended a series of regional events, held by Alcohol Focus Scotland in late 2016. The main findings that emerged from these discussions were:
- The system is too complex and it is difficult for local people to get involved in shaping licensing policy and decision-making.
- There are disagreements about the role and purpose of alcohol licensing, particularly between those working in licensing and those working in public health.
- Licensing hearings can be intimidating for people who aren’t legal experts and public information about licensing is inaccessible.
- Local licensing forums, the main mechanism for public engagement, aren’t functioning effectively so there is a lack of proper scrutiny of policy and decision-making.
Newly constituted licensing boards across the country have started to gather information on alcohol harm to inform their local licensing policies, due to be published by November 2018, which will guide their decision-making for up to 5 years. As the Scottish Government develops its refreshed alcohol strategy, it must turn its attention to addressing the widespread availability of alcohol and provide greater direction and support to boards.
With the number of licences granted across Scotland continuing to increase, Alcohol Focus Scotland is calling on Scottish Government to provide stronger national direction to ensure this is brought under control. Further recomendations to Scottish Government include:
- Clarify the role and purpose of the licensing system
- Update national guidance to local licensing boards
- Commission an in-depth review of the functioning of local licensing forums
Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said:
“Licensing is devolved to local boards so that decisions can better meet the needs of local communities. Unfortunately, too often the people and communities affected by licensing decisions are unable to voice their opinions because of the complexity of the system.
“Despite one million Scots drinking too much, and the harm this causes to individuals, families and communities, we have seen an increase in the number of licensed premises over the last six years. It seems that every corner shop now sells alcohol, as well many petrol stations, sandwich bars and coffee shops. We need a clearer expectation from Scottish Government of how licensing can and should contribute to reducing consumption and harm in communities across Scotland. And we need greater consistency, transparency and accountability from local licensing boards on how they are delivering on this.
"The Scottish Government’s alcohol strategy refresh and licensing boards’ preparation of their licensing policy statements provide a real opportunity to address some of the issues raised in this report and ensure our licensing system is fit for the future.”
Alan Murray, Senior Community Nurse Addictions at NHS Lothian said:
“As the recent chair of a local licensing forum I have witnessed first-hand the obstacles that local licensing boards face in developing a licensing policy that effectively addresses the overconsumption of alcohol in our communities.
"All of our authorities tasked with addressing this pressing public health concern should take note of this detailed work by Alcohol Focus Scotland and work together to develop an effective strategy to tackle this important public health issue.”
Vered Hopkins, Lead Officer at Dundee City Alcohol & Drug Partnership said:
“Over the past four years progress has been made in Dundee to develop a well-informed and evidence-based overprovision policy. The policy provided the City’s Licensing Board with the evidence and approach it needed to either turn applications down or place additional conditions on licences.
“However, it was acknowledged that it is not possible to follow the advice of the overprovision policy in every case, and that discussions and decisions regarding applications for licences are complex. The original overprovision policy has now run its course and the Dundee Licensing Board are currently considering adopting a new overprovision policy.
“To further support the Licensing Board and to ensure a reduction of alcohol-related harm in Dundee, it is our intention to increase the involvement of local individuals and communities in discussions about specific applications for licences”.