SNP alcohol policy encourages ‘some people’ to switch to healthier lower-strength drinks and weight loss! a change in consumption among people drinking at harmful levels. Academic from Sheffield and Australia also found some some people experienced financial strain and they cut spending on food or bills while others switched to lower-strength drinks.

Needless to say this research, like all research, can be dissected to get what you want from it.

Notice it’s only ‘some people.’

They, ‘some people’ only ‘cut food bills’, not went without.

And, that last bit, switching to lower strength drinks? Isn’t that what the SNP wanted to happen?

Look at this quote.

Prof John Holmes, director of the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, led the study. He said people with alcohol dependence responded to MUP in different ways.

“Some reduced their spending on other things but others switched to lower-strength drinks or simply bought less alcohol,” he said.

‘Bought less alcohol?’ Good?

Looking at the actual report’s methodology, we see sorry excuses for what was perhaps a small, probably unreliable, sample for the ‘some people’ claims (p39). They never own up to the actual sample size.

Notably, ignored by BBC Scotland, this:

We found little evidence of the other potentially harmful responses to MUP that
were discussed by stakeholders in the public debate around the policy,
suggesting such concerns were misplaced:

Some people with alcohol dependence and their family members reported
concerns about increased intoxication after they switched to consuming
spirits rather than cider. In some of these cases, people also expressed
concerns about increased violence. However, these were expressed as
concerns only and our data contain no information on actual violent
incidents. The existence and extent of these problems requires further

Few people reported substituting illicit drugs for alcohol and those doing so
were already using other substances before the introduction of MUP.

Few people reported consuming illicit produced alcohol, stealing alcohol or
committing other crimes to obtain alcohol or the money to pay for it.
There were no reports of increased incidents of acute withdrawal


8 thoughts on “SNP alcohol policy encourages ‘some people’ to switch to healthier lower-strength drinks and weight loss!

  1. The alcohol industry and the hospitality industry has always oppose MUP – the Scotch (sic) Whisky Association challenged the right of the Scottish Government to legislate in court.

    Prior to the initial legislation BBC Scotland gave platforms regularly to the drinks industry to express their opposition and, in the usual way, bulletins were framed in ways to indicate scepticism – e.g the “SG DENIED that the policy will devastate hospitality in Scotland”, “the SG claims it does not have it in for drinkers”, “unemployment will rise, says hospitality boss”, etc. after the legislation was passed the SWA challenge was given publicity, and, once MUP came into force, the bevvy vendors were given air time to broadcast doom….

    During the lockdown, the hospitality groups were on almost every day ranting against the SG, with BBC Scotland ‘interviewers’ feeding the prompts.

    So, in that context finding something to decontextualise and present sneeringly is entirely to be expected of the BBC in Scotland.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A Twitter thread from one of the authors of the report covering the main points and what the report does and does not show.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks John having seen your article I’ve gone to the report and found a good quote to use in a letter (just sent) to the Guardian re. Libby Brooks article on this report in which she alleges there has been no reduction in drinking by “problem drinkers”.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi John, I got a standard acknowledgement email but have heard nothing else. However, when I looked at the article on the Guardian today (8.6.22) I noticed that they have dropped the claim re. no reduction in alcohol consumption for “problem drinkers” and replaced it with a comment re. people reducing money spent on food.


  4. Drinking in Scotland has reduced from 25% more than the rest of the UK to 17%. It has decreased further because of the introduction of MUP.

    Liked by 1 person

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