Wales will charge a minimum of 50p per unit of alcohol, under proposals announced by the Welsh Government.
Supported by BMA Cymru Wales, the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Act was passed in June this year and received Royal Assent last month.
The Welsh Government has unveiled proposals to set the price at 50p per unit and has launched a 12-week consultation. The minimum-pricing level will be introduced in the summer of next year.
Announcing the move in a written statement, Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: ‘Alcohol is a major cause of death and illness in Wales; it leads to a number of health and social harms, particularly for the significant minority of people who drink to excess.
‘In 2016, there were 504 alcohol-related deaths in Wales and in 2016/17, there were nearly 55,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions. All alcohol-related deaths and alcohol-related hospital admissions are preventable.’
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have estimated a 50p minimum unit price would lead to 66 fewer alcohol-attributable deaths a year and 1,281 fewer alcohol-attributable hospital admissions.
BMA Cymru Wales has previously supported a 50p minimum price per unit.
Minimum unit pricing was introduced in Scotland in May.
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