Dear First Minister

As family members and friends harmed by a loved one’s alcohol use, we welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment in November 2018 to tackling alcohol marketing in Scotland. We also welcomed the consultation on this issue when it was finally published four years later, in November 2022.

So we were shocked to hear your announcement to the Scottish Parliament on 18 April that you have taken these long-awaited proposals “back to the drawing board”, to take “a fresh look at this issue” due to alcohol industry concerns.

We live every day with the impact of our loved one’s drinking – whether they are still actively using alcohol, are in recovery, or where they have died. We are people from all corners of Scotland and from all walks of life.

The aim of alcohol marketing is to encourage over-consumption. The industry’s profits rely on Scotland drinking too much, too often. Our ‘Alcohol Everywhere’ culture harms whole families and whole communities – children, young people and adults. Alcohol is in your face, no matter where you look, and there is no part of daily life in Scotland which is alcohol-free.

The World Health Organisation has identified restricting alcohol marketing as one of the most effective ways to reduce harm – one of their three ‘best buys’ along with tackling price and availability. We do not need to consult on this.

We have heard the noise made by the alcohol industry about the proposals to restrict alcohol marketing. It is not surprising that they will do everything to maintain the status quo.

However we also have a voice and we need to be heard. We do not have the power or influence of the alcohol industry, we do not have an army of lobbyists or a multi-million pound PR machine to amplify our voices. Our daily lives are shaped by chaos, exhaustion, disappointment, grief and loss. We do not have the time, energy or resources to compete with the industry. But you have let our voice be drowned out by those with money, power and influence.

We need you to hear us and to hear our stories. We matter too – our families matter, our communities matter. In the past four years, since the Scottish Government publicly committed to tackling alcohol marketing, over 4,500 more people in Scotland have died directly through alcohol. They include our family members, our friends, our colleagues, our loved ones. How many more people will die, how many more lives shattered, how many more families destroyed before you hear our voice?

Note to those signing: This list of signatories will be published online and shared with the Scottish Government and the media. To protect your identity, you may choose to sign with first initial, surname, health board area, e.g. J Brown, Highland. Or you can choose to share your full name and local authority area if you wish. No contact information for individuals will be published or shared.
Signed by:
1.First Initial or Full Name
3.Local Authority or Health Board Area
Geef nooit uw wachtwoord.

Post Navigation