- Five pitfalls to avoid in evaluating training
- 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
- Cross-Party Group Improving Scotland's health: 2021 and beyond October 2018
- 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
- Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels
- Oh Lila goes digital
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Walker's crisp ad exposes children to alcohol marketing
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Focus on link between alcohol and obesity
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Last Christmas for heavily discounted alcohol
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Quarter of Scots drink above guidelines
- 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
- Budget: No change in alcohol duty
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Chancellor urged to tackle cheap, strong cider in Budget
- Online help for families affected by alcohol
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Drink drive warning
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- Scottish Government receives European alcohol award
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- Half of alcohol being sold under 50p per unit
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Alcohol and mental health are closely linked
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- Alcohol sold at pocket money prices
- Scotland has so much to gain from reducing how much we drink
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm
- Public health must prevail over big business
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Price check reveals cheap cost of strong alcohol
- Sales increase underlines need for minimum pricing
- Time to kick alcohol out of sport
- Alcohol linked with stomach cancer
- AFS calls for compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks
- Are supermarkets 'responsible retailers' when it comes to alcohol?
- Scottish health charities call for excise duty rise to tackle cheap alcohol
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- New resource for people concerned about alcohol in their community
- Minimum pricing decision delayed until summer
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- Alcohol: a global concern
The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
The Scottish Government published their new Alcohol Framework 2018: - Preventing Harm next steps on changing our relationship with alcohol, on the 20 November 2018. Joe Fitzpatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing unveiled the new framework at the 8th European Alcohol Policy Conference in Edinburgh.
We were pleased to see commitments on marketing and labelling as well as the pledge to review the current minimum unit price of 50 pence.
In 2017, Alcohol Focus Scotland, along with our partners SHAAP, SFAD and BMA Scotland, made recommendations to the Scottish Government encouraging action to reduce the exposure of children to alcohol advertising and sponsorship. There is strong support from the Scottish public to limit marketing of alcohol products and the evidence is clear that exposure to marketing has links with increased consumption among our children and young people.
It is encouraging that the Minister has spoken of the ‘compelling evidence’ of the need to protect children from alcohol marketing and the Framework includes a commitment to consult on alcohol marketing. Mention is made of marketing in public spaces, sport sponsorship and online and digital channels. The Scottish Government have also pledged to press the UK Government to protect children and young people by restricting alcohol marketing on television to after the 9pm watershed, and in cinemas. We believe these are positive steps towards protecting the vulnerable and challenging alcohol’s prominent role in our society.
The Framework includes a welcome commitment to improving alcohol labelling. It is completely unacceptable that more information is required on a pint of milk than a bottle of wine. The Scottish Government have said that they will be prepared to consider pursuing a mandatory approach in Scotland if industry fails to include CMO guidelines, and other health information, on products by the UK deadline of September 2019. A review of alcohol labels undertaken in August this year showed less than 10% of labels contained the CMO guidelines which came into force in January 2016.
AFS is also pleased to see a commitment to review the 50 pence minimum unit price after we raised the point in our consultation submission in January this year. We highlighted that although the benefits will still be significant, the probable effectiveness of a 50p minimum unit price will have declined over the five years or so since the policy became legislation, and we sought a commitment of a review to ensure that the benefits of this life-saving policy are fully optimised.
In Scotland we have seen up close the alcohol industry’s determination to derail and delay the implementation of life-saving minimum unit pricing legislation. We believe that organisations who put their profits over people’s health should have no part in shaping alcohol policy or in providing health advice. We are encouraged to see that the Scottish Government have included within the framework the commitment that they will not work with industry on “health policy development, on health messaging campaigns or on provision of education in schools and beyond the school setting.” This is a clear and principled stance which we hope others will follow.
One area of the Framework where we’d like to see stronger action is in addressing how widely available alcohol is. Alcohol death rates and hospitalisations are twice as high in areas with the highest availability. There is real potential for our licensing system do more to protect our most vulnerable communities who are suffering the greatest harm by controlling where and when alcohol is sold. The Framework includes a commitment to keep the system under review which is very welcome, and we will continue to monitor progress.
Read our response to the Alcohol Framework 2018 from Alison Douglas, chief executive at Alcohol Focus Scotland.