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Health Scotland to be first in the world to implement minimum alcohol prices

SCOTLAND will become the first country in the world to set a minimum price for shop-bought booze at 50p a unit.

The Scottish government confirmed the plans today following a consultation which found that almost three-quarters were in favour of the minimum unit price, which is being introduced on May 1.

The introduction follows a lengthy legal battle with the Supreme Court dismissing a challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association to stop it.

Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison insisted the policy will "save thousands of lives," although some argued the minimum price should be higher.

Scientists at the Royal Society of Edinburgh said it would "reflect a greater degree of ambition" if the minimum price was set at 70p per unit.

Ms Robinson said: "With alcohol on sale today in some places at just 16p per unit, we have to tackle the scourge of cheap, high-strength drink that causes so much damage to so many families."

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