15 June 2017: New Minimum Unit Pricing Evaluation Webpage

***Thank you to Clare Beeston & the MESAS Project Team for the following information***

As many of you will already know, In 2012, the Scottish Government passed the Alcohol (Minimum Unit Pricing) (Scotland) 2012 Act (the Act) to create a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol. The legislation contains what is known as a ‘sunset clause’. This means that it will expire after the sixth year of implementation unless the Scottish Parliament votes for it to continue. To inform this decision there is a ‘review clause’ requiring that the Minister presents a review report to parliament on the impact of MUP as soon as possible after the fifth year of implementation.

The Scottish Government has tasked NHS Health Scotland, under the Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) work programme, with leading the evaluation of MUP and producing the review report.

The MUP legislation has been subject to a legal challenge led by the Scotch Whisky Association in partnership with European wine and spirits producers. However, the judicial process is now nearing its close, with an appeal to the UK Supreme Court being heard in July 2017. While the outcome cannot be presumed, in order that a robust and comprehensive evaluation be completed, the MESAS team have developed a proposed portfolio of studies with which to evaluate the impact of MUP.

An overview of the plans to evaluate MUP (including details on the governance of these plans) is now available to view on the new MUP evaluation webpage at: http://www.healthscotland.scot/health-topics/alcohol/evaluation-of-minimum-unit-pricing



University College London Release APP to Reduce Alcohol Consumption

University College London have released an APP to help Iphone users curb their alcohol consumption. The Drink Less APP allows people to keep track of how much they drink, set goals to drink less, get feedback, and access unique and fun ways of changing attitudes towards alcohol.

The APP allows you to:
– Keep track of your drinking and see how it changes over time
– Set goals for the targets that matter to you and get feedback on your progress towards them
– Complete a daily mood diary so you can better understand the effects of your hangover
– Play games designed to strengthen your resolve to drink less alcohol
– Create plans for dealing with situations when you may be tempted to drink excessively
– Take part in exercises designed to change your relationship with alcohol

The Drink Less APP has been created by a team of psychologists at University College London who are researching what techniques help people reduce their consumption of alcohol. The app can be used fully without taking part in their study and there is an option to opt-out of it at any time.

If you are 18> and have access to an Iphone then please consider downloading the APP. Participation will help the researchers to understand what works to reduce alcohol consumption.

You can get more information or download the APP here.


Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm (AWARH)

November 16th- 20th is Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm.

AWARH was initiated in 2013; it is an initiative of the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (EUROCARE), the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the European Brain Council (EBC), the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA), the European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI) and United European Gastroenterology (UEG). The Secretariat for the Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm 2015 is held by ELPA. This year AWARH is endorsed by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).

The aim of AWARH is to increase awareness of the need to address alcohol-related harm in Europe, and highlight the need to address it through an integrated approach to alcohol policy.
The events held during AWARH aim to demonstrate the overwhelming burden of alcohol-related harm in Europe, propose possible solutions to the problem and be a catalyst for debate at European and national levels.

We have been asked to show our support for AWARH by spreading the message via social media and by joining Thuderclap which is is a “crowdspeaking” platform that lets individuals and companies rally people together to spread a message. The site uses an “all-or-nothing” model similar to crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, in that if the campaign does not meet its desired number of supporters in the given time frame, the organizer receives none of the donations. On Thunderclap, backers donate tweets and social media posts rather than money.

Please show your support by joining Thunderclap here.