Scotland has witnessed a fall in the volume of pure alcohol sold per adult in the country to the lowest level since 1994, according to 2019 MESAS Monitoring Report.

Released by NHS Health Scotland, the report highlights that the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in 2018 could be one reason for the decline.

The volume of pure alcohol sold through supermarkets and off-licences has reduced by 9% in Scotland since 2010, the report showed.

NHS Health Scotland public health intelligence adviser Lucie Giles said: “With the implementation of minimum unit pricing in May 2018 we’ve seen a substantial fall in the volume of alcohol being sold at very low prices, along with the biggest rise in the average price of alcohol sold through supermarkets and off-licences in a decade.

“From the data in this report it’s not possible to quantify the full contribution of MUP on alcohol prices and sales, but these are encouraging early indicators.

“We know that alcohol remains a significant public health issue and people in our poorest areas continue to experience the most harm. This is unfair and it is preventable, like all harm caused by alcohol.

“By monitoring and evaluating Scotland’s alcohol strategy, we can continue to gauge progress, and understand what works to reduce the harm it causes”.

With an average of 19 units of alcohol purchased per week, the volume sold in Scotland was 9% higher than in other parts of the UK.

Last May, the Scottish Government introduced an MUP on alcohol of £0.50 per unit to try and reduce the number of alcohol-related illnesses and deaths in the country.

Under the minimum unit pricing, the higher the alcohol content of a product, the more expensive it is.

According to the MESAS Monitoring Report, less alcohol was sold below £0.50 per unit in Scotland than in England and Wales.