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Monday 26 September 2016
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Health chiefs urge MSPs to back minimum price proposal

A number of health organisations have urged politicians in Scotland to back a bid to support the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol.

Seventeen directors of health at all of Scotland's local health boards have signed a letter calling on MSPs to back the proposal.

They claim introducing the minimum price for alcohol is for the "sake of the health" of everyone in Scotland.

The letter has also been signed by the heads of Health Protection Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service's medical service.

It said: "Minimum pricing and reduced discounting are ways of reducing alcohol consumption that do not require the approval of the Westminster Parliament.

"For the sake of the health and social wellbeing of the people in Scotland we encourage you to support these actions."

The letter said that of the 20 local areas across the UK with the highest male alcohol-related deaths between 1998 and 2004, 15 of them were in Scotland.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the proposal last month, on the same day the Labour party announced it will join the Tories and Lib Dems by not supporting it.

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