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In practice, MUP will leave prices in pubs, bars and restaurants virtually untouched, and raise the price of products like supermarket own-brand vodka and super-strength lagers, which are typically consumed by the most vulnerable groups, such as children and street drinkers.

The 50p minimum price means a 70cl bottle of whisky can not be sold for less than £14 in Scotland.

The 50p minimum unit price means that a bottle of 40% whisky can not be sold for less than £14, while a bottle of 37.5% vodka can not be sold for less than £13.13.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon praised Scotland for being "bold enough and courageous enough" to take the step.

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It says MUP is one of the most effective policy measures available to reduce alcohol-related health harm, which costs the NHS around £3.5bn every year.

In Scotland, the floor price will be set at 50p per unit.

Joep Stassen, president of Spirits Europe said: "We regret the Supreme Court's ruling on minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland, which we believe is inconsistent with the Court of Justice's ruling in this case and its wider jurisprudence".

For the North East a five-year delay could mean 75 additional North East lives lost, 11,000 alcohol related crimes and 4,600 hospital admissions which otherwise could have been avoided, costing the region nearly £66m.

The move is aimed to curb the sale of cheap and strong drinks in a society burdened by abuse of alcohol.

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Due to the laws "sunset clause", the Scottish Parliament will review the legislation in five years time to decide whether it should continue.

Ministers have called the new law a significant step in tackling Scotland's "unhealthy relationship" with alcohol.

After the ruling last November, Spirits Europe, which supported the plight of the SWA said that the ruling "will distort competition by preventing efficient low-priced producers of alcoholic drinks in other Member States from using that competitive advantage against higher cost producers, without targeting those who drink at harmful levels".

Dr Goodall agrees the policy will not cure all of Scotland's alcohol-related ills.

- What impact could MUP have on harm reduction? "A rise in drug use is also on the cards as people use substances such as Spice as a substitute for cheap alcohol".

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Minimum pricing in Scotland finally came into place this week, after the Scottish Government fought off legal challenges from the alcohol industry.


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