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Doctors warn worrying increase in alcohol-related deaths must prompt action

BMA Scotland has warned that the latest figures published today [Wednesday] by the National Records of Scotland on alcohol-related deaths make it essential that efforts to tackle the harms of alcohol misuse are redoubled.

The figures show that in 2016 there were 1,265 alcohol-related deaths, an increase of 10% on the previous year and the highest annual total since 2010.

Chair of BMA Scotland Dr Peter Bennie said:

“These latest figures showing a worrying increase in alcohol-related deaths last year make clear the scale of the damage caused by Scotland’s relationship with alcohol.

“It underlines why as a country we need to redouble our efforts to tackle the harms caused by alcohol misuse, and why we need the Scottish Government’s coming alcohol strategy refresh to include the kind of wide-ranging measures the BMA and other alcohol campaigners recently called for, including action on marketing and availability.

“Chief amongst these though is the need for minimum unit pricing, a policy that big alcohol producers have spent far too long delaying and trying to prevent and which must be implemented as swiftly as possible once the legal process finally ends.”

The figures from National Records of Scotland can be viewed at  

The recent joint recommendations for the Scottish Government’s alcohol strategy refresh can be viewed at

For further information please contact:

BMA Scotland, 14 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LL
Telephone: 0131 247 3050 | 0131 247 3052 | 0131 247 3018 
For out-of-hours press enquiries:
07768 005 850 
Email: [email protected] 
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