|A new minimum price for alcohol has been introduced in Scotland. Ministers have set the new minimum at 50p per unit, a move that will push a bottle of wine to £4.69 and four cans of basic lager to at least £3.52.|
It marks the first time minimum pricing has been tried in the European Union.
Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said that radical action was needed to tackle the significant health and social costs of alcohol abuse in Scotland.
"Cheap alcohol comes at a price and now is the time to tackle the toll that Scotland's unhealthy relationship with alcohol is taking on our society," she said.
"Too many Scots are drinking themselves to death. The problem affects people of all walks of life."
The minimum price is higher than previous proposals, which started with 35p a unit in 2008, after experts at Sheffield University warned Sturgeon that the impact of a lower cost had been reduced by inflation and lower consumption recently.
Sir Harry Burns, Scotland's chief medical officer, said: "I strongly support minimum pricing, as part of a wider framework of action, as the best chance we have of reducing Scotland's harmful levels of alcohol consumption.
"Alcohol-related disease and violence are costing the NHS millions of pounds every year and this cannot be allowed to continue."