ON the face of it, an investment of £300,000 by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) in local partnerships to reduce young people’s drinking may seem positive (Scotch whisky pours £300k into efforts to tackle underage drinking, Mar 4). However, research into such industry-funded community alcohol partnerships in the UK found little evidence of their effectiveness and concluded that “their main role may be as an alcohol industry corporate social responsibility measure which is intended to limit the reputational damage associated with alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.”

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The existence of and support for such initiatives is also used by Big Alcohol as an alternative to evidence-based policies which threaten how they market and sell their products, such as the minimum unit pricing which SWA delayed for more than six years at a cost of hundreds of lives.

Alison Douglas
Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland