Selected media stories since the October roundup:
News & policy reports
Sections of the alcohol industry have prolonged the fight against Scotland's plans for minimum alcohol pricing (MUP). The Scotch Whisky Association said it had a "strong view that minimum pricing is incompatible with EU law" and would appeal, but Health Secretary Shona Robison said the decision was "deeply disappointing". BBC news and APUK analysis.
At least half of the alcohol sold in Scotland is below the sought 50 pence MUP, a survey suggests. More than two-thirds (69%) of the spirits currently sold fall below the 50p per unit threshold, according to analysts Nielsen - BBC news
Conservative MP David Burrowes argues that an increase in tax on strong ciders would be an important component of the Government's Social Justice Strategy and address many of the harmful consquences of alcohol abuse - Politics Home. Meanwhile the TaxPayers’ Alliance has claimed that around £31.6 billion of tax revenue has been lost because of the illicit market in spirits, beer, wine, cigarettes, rolling tobacco and diesel - fuelled by high taxes on these items - Telegraph
The Scottish government has decided not to create a new power for police to search young people for alcohol. Pauline McIntyre, parliamentary and policy officer for the Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland said "The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that it is seizures, not searches, that help keep children and young people safe in relation to alcohol - BBC News
Military bosses are planning to install alcohol advisers in every unit of the Army from 2018 to offer advice and support on how to cut back on drinking. The move comes after a string of incidents involving drunk and disorderly soldiers - Express. Earlier in the year a crackdown on boozing in Scottish Army barracks was reported in the Daily Record
Heavy drinking could have dangerous implications for eyesight, according to Dr David Teenan, a fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and UK Medical Director at Optical Express. In addition to the distorted, blurry vision that is experienced in the early stages of intoxication, alcohol can cause longer term issues such as the early onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), causing the drinker to lose focus in their central field of vision - Express
University of Manchester students have won an international award for their ‘AlcoPatch’, which detects alcohol in sweat, and contains a colour patch that indicates the level of alcohol consumed by the wearer. They hope that the patch will be used in the future as an ‘affordable, personal intoxication awareness tool’ to test blood alcohol levels - Manchester University
Teenagers who play video games that feature alcohol and smoking are twice as likely to have tried either, according to researchers from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham. They examined the content of the 32 UK best-selling video games of 2012/13 and found alcohol and tobacco was used in nearly half of the most popular video games - Daily Mail
Teenagers who mix alcohol and energy drinks are more likely to abuse drugs as adults, say researchers at Purdue University. They found that drinks such as Jägerbombs trigger the same changes in teenager’s brains as the class A drug cocaine - Huffington Post
A glass of red wine before lighting up can prevent some of the harm caused by smoking, according to The Independent. However the research used healthy non-smokers and the lead author stated they 'did not want to motivate occasional smokers to drink or occasional drinkers to smoke.'
A hormonal link between the liver and brain that regulates alcohol consumption may help scientists develop new treatments for problem drinkers, according to new research - The Independent
Dyfed-Powys Police has become the first force in the UK to trial a new remote system of monitoring how much alcohol prolific offenders are drinking. The system can be set up to request manual, automatic and random breath tests from the offender and includes a picture identity verification - BBC News
Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) are 'successfully tackling underage drinking and anti-social behaviour', following a new 'impact report' released by the CAP body, which receives funding from alcohol retailers and a number of alcohol producers. Underage confiscations fell by over 80%, according to the Morning Advertiser.
Calls by NHS Shetlands to ban shops from selling alcohol before 5pm would "rebound" on the health service and lead addicts to stockpile drink, it has been claimed - The Herald
Industry & trade news
Lower strength alcohol should be a key focus for producers, according to David Wilson, director of public affairs at the British Beer and Pub Association. As consumption levels decline, and with a younger generation drinking less, the industry now needs to innovate to remain relevant and respond to changes in consumer tastes and drinking habits. Wilson said “There’s a lot more we can do to promote low strength products such as beer and make sure that the tax system reflects that properly." - The Drinks Business
Pub and bar owners should provide warnings on the health dangers of alcohol and information such as calorie content, or be denied a licence, the House of Lords Licensing Act 2003 Committee has heard - BBC News. The committee also heard the opposing view, from industry representatives - Morning Advertiser