March 11, 2009

Scots to Scotch (Cheap) Whiskey?

In a move to curb alcohol consumption and reduce public health problems, the Scottish government plans to ban lower-priced liquor in supermarkets — but not before critics have their say.

With the eighth-highest rate of alcohol consumption worldwide, and more than 42,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions per year, Scotland hopes to ban lower pricing deals on alcohol, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

If the ban goes through Scotland will be the first country in the world with a minimum price on alcohol.

Yet one industry representative said that the plan is unworkable, claiming that although the expense of alcohol will not deter an addict, higher prices will punish lower-income communities.

Whiskey distillers say the ban may violate international trade laws, while health advocates note that deaths from alcohol abuse have doubled in the last 15 years, the Financial Times reports.

–Brittany Owens/Newsdesk.org

Sources:

“Scotland bans alcohol discounts”
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, March 3, 2009

“Anger at Scottish cheap drinks ban”
Financial Times, March 3, 2009

“Scots plan to stop cheap alcohol”
BBC News, March 2, 2009

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