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Letter calls for minimum alcohol price

Published:  24 December, 2009

Public health chiefs have called on Scottish politicians to support the minimum price for alcohol.

A letter signed by 17 directors of health has been sent to every MSP calling on them to back the proposal to raise the minimum price and stand aside from party politics in favour of the health of the nation.

The measures are supported by the BMA, Royal College of Physicians and the Faculty of Public Health, who view the move as vital to help fight the rising toll of alcohol-related deaths in Scotland.

Opposition to the bill has come from other main parties; Labour does not support minimum pricing, which it believes may be illegal, while the Conservatives are worried that an overall pricing structure could damage the Scottish whisky industry.

The government has not officially set out the level of its minimum price, but it is estimated to be around 40p per unit of alcohol.