January 10, 2012 — Scotland should consider removing alcohol sales from supermarkets in an effort to reduce drink-related health problems, a leading doctor told politicians today.
Dr Peter Rice, chairman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland and a consultant addictions psychiatrist at NHS Tayside, said it would be “desirable” to follow the example of countries such as Canada and New Zealand, where sales can be controlled in special government-run retail stores.
He made the suggestion to MSPs investigating the Scottish Government’s plan to set a minimum price for alcohol, which is expected to be passed at Holyrood.
Dr Rice, who supports the policy, said: “The United Kingdom is unusual in that all of our alcohol is sold alongside all of our groceries.
“The UK has been very out of step with the rest of the world over the last 20 years.
“I was asked in New Zealand, ‘why is vodka sold in supermarkets in the United Kingdom?’ I’d never thought about that question before.”
He said state-operated boards in parts of Canada and the US lead to the “democratic control” of the alcohol market.
“I think that would be a very desirable thing for us to have in this country,” he added. Read more in the Daily Record.