It was on the 23rd November 2016. I’ve just come across it and was surprised to see it. I can’t recall it being reported and certainly not broadcast proudly. I might have missed it but it would have been a big headline wouldn’t it? It was before I went into hospital so I would have been watching all the time. I’ve searched but can’t find any mainstream Scottish media report of it.
So, a wee bit late in the day, I’d like to trumpet it.
I found seven online links including on the BMA and other health-promoting agencies’ websites but not one TV or newspaper site. The Herald reported six awards in 2016 but not this one. THE BBC gave more awards than I wanted to count but they seemed to be all for sport, music or baking.
Here are some extracts from the Alcohol Focus Scotland site:
‘The European Reducing Alcohol Harm award was given in recognition of a “comprehensive range” of measures including the multi-buy discount ban, lowering the drink-drive limit and legislating for minimum unit pricing.
It was announced at the seventh European Alcohol Policy Conference in Slovenia, attended by health ministers, scientists and public health officials from across the European Union.
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said:
“It’s a huge honour that Scotland has been given this award in recognition of our work to reduce the damage caused by alcohol. This award is a tribute to all the people in Scotland who work with those affected by alcohol.
“The Scottish Government has over 40 measures designed to reduce alcohol-related harm. We have legislated to end multi-buy discounts and the irresponsible promotion of alcohol products, introduced a nationwide programme of alcohol brief interventions and lowered the drink drive limit. We’ve also invested significantly in specialist treatment and care services to help those with alcohol problems.
“We remain absolutely committed to introduce minimum unit pricing as soon as possible. Of course I was deeply disappointed that this life-saving policy has been further delayed by another legal challenge from the Scotch Whisky Association last week. However, the policy has been ruled lawful twice in the Scottish courts and I am confident the Supreme Court will come to the same conclusion if this latest appeal proceeds.
“Alcohol misuse is costing Scotland £3.6 billion a year and it kills around 22 people a week. So we will continue our work to reduce this harm, and will shortly be publishing a refreshed alcohol strategy for Scotland to build on the progress so far.”
Announcing the award, Mariann Skar, Secretary General of Eurocare (The European Alcohol Policy Alliance), said:
“The first European Award for Reducing Alcohol Harm Award is awarded to the Scottish Government in recognition of its actions to develop and implement a comprehensive range of evidence-based alcohol policies, and specifically its battle to implement minimum unit pricing, in the face of sustained opposition by global alcohol producers. Scotland is recognised as an international beacon for evidence-based alcohol policies, making the improvement of the health of its population a top priority.”
The Alcohol Focus Scotland site also reported on the feasibility of Minimum pricing.
Reacting to the Court of Session ruling that minimum unit pricing for alcohol is legal and can be implemented in Scotland, Alison Douglas Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said:
This is a great day for Scotland’s health! Minimum pricing is widely supported by doctors, social workers, children’s charities and many more who want to get rid of the cheap vodkas and super-strength ciders that cause so much damage.
Scotland has been waiting more than four years to implement this policy which will prevent thousands of hospital admissions and crimes, and save hundreds of lives. We hope that minimum pricing will now be put in place as quickly as possible so we can start seeing the benefits.
Have my apologies, if this award was widely known and I just missed it. If it was widely ignored by our mainstream media, then I’m glad I posted it. We don’t get enough good news.