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Scots still 'drink too much' health chiefs warn

Scots still 'drink too much' despite a drop in the alcohol sold per person, health chiefs have warned. 

A report from NHS Health Scotland showed that the amount of alcohol sold dropped by 3% per person between 2011 and 2013. 

But the organisation's Mark Robinson said: “We're still drinking too much as a nation.” 

The report showed that drink sales were 8% lower than in 2009. However, alcohol sales were 6% higher than in 1994 and 19% higher than in England and Wales last year. 

Mr Robinson said: "It is good news for Scotland's health and well-being that alcohol consumption is starting to decline.

"We know that the ban on multi-buy promotions was associated with a fall in sales and that alcohol affordability has declined as a result of the challenging economic climate.

"However, although these positive effects are welcome, we're still drinking too much as a nation, and a large proportion of alcohol is still being sold at relatively low prices.”

Scotland was recently the first country in the UK to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol. 

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said minimum pricing was needed because cheap drink was the "real source of Scotland's alcohol problem".

He told the BBC: "Minimum pricing will save hundreds of lives, prevent thousands of hospital admissions, reduce crime and save the public purse millions in dealing with the consequences of alcohol misuse."