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Scots bigger drinkers than English or Welsh

Published:  18 January, 2010

Scottish people drink 25% more alcohol than English or Welsh and the gap is increasing according to a National Health Service survey.

The difference between Scotland and south of the border has grown from 1.8 to 2.4 litres of pure alcohol per person per year since 2005, whereas consumption decreased yearly in England and Wales between 2005 and 2009.

Average sales equated to 46 bottles of vodka, 537 pints of beer and 130 bottles of wine across Scotland's five million adults in 2009.

However many people don't drink, so the figure is higher if averaged out between those who do.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said, a million Scots were drinking above safe levels, and nearly a quarter were drinking more than double recommended daily limits.

The Scottish National Party government is attempting to set a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol, but is faced with opposition from other political parties.