Movendi International’s Alcohol Issues Podcast episode 18 is out now.
This week we are discussing alcohol minimum unit pricing, its history, first evidence and future and the bigger picture of alcohol harm and policy solutions in Scotland.


Movendi International’s weekly in-depth conversation about latest alcohol issues in policy and science and new alcohol industry revelations.

Welcome to the Alcohol Issues Podcast and our 18th episode. For the three year anniversary of the historic alcohol minimum unit pricing policy coming into effect in Scotland, we focus in this episode on the first evidence from full MUP implementation and discuss wider issues around the alcohol floor price in particular and alcohol policy development in general.

The conversation for this podcast episode was recorded on May 5, 2021 and final recordings were made on May 13.

Conversation with Alison Douglas, Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland

For the 18th episode of the Alcohol Issues Podcast host Maik Dünnbier welcomes Alison Douglas, the Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland.

She joined AFS in December 2015. Her commitment to and experience of preventing and reducing alcohol harm stems from her time as Head of Alcohol Policy and Delivery at Scottish Government from 2007 to 2012. In this capacity Alison was responsible for developing and implementing Scotland’s national alcohol strategy, “Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol”.

Alison previously worked as a policy adviser to Scottish Ministers, advising on issues ranging from prostitution, to GM crops, and the marine environment. From April 2012 until she joined AFS she was Head of Public Bodies and Public Service Reform with responsibility for advising Ministers on reform and ensuring the effectiveness of public bodies.

Alcohol Focus Scotland is the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm. Alison will also explain a bit more about the important work that Alcohol Focus Scotland is doing.

In the conversation, Alison and Maik take a deep dive into the historic and trailblazing minimum unit pricing policy in Scotland. They discuss how it works and why it was needed in the first place.

Discussing MUP, its history, first evidence and future and the bigger picture of alcohol harm and policy solutions in Scotland

Alison also explains how it is going after three years of MUP implementation. What is the evidence in terms of alcohol consumption, alcohol harms and public support for the alcohol floor price?

Host Maik Dünnbier also used the opportunity to ask Alison about lessons learned across the entire period, including the advocacy struggle to get the MUP adopted, then defend it against alcohol industry litigation and then to get it implemented properly. So, Alison shares a few highlights in the wider historic perspective.

This conversation with Alison provides deeper understanding of how policy can shape norms and culture, the importance of bold leaders, and the significance of the alcohol industry’s interference not only in policy processes but also in public perception of and discussion about what constitutes alcohol harm. Alison shares thoughtful reflections that really resonate coming from one of the champions at the forefront of successful alcohol policy advocacy. 

Resources for the conversation with Alison

You can follow Alison Douglas on Twitter, here.

You can follow Alcohol Focus Scotland on Twitter, here.

You can read about Alcohol Focus Scotland’s work, here.

For further reading, about alcohol minimum unit pricing in Scotland:

Listen to episode 18

  • Listen to episode 18 of the Alcohol Issues Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.
  • You can find the brand new episode on Apple podcasts, here
  • You can also listen to the latest episode on Spotify
  • And you can find episode 18 on Google Podcasts.
  • And you can follow the Alcohol Issues Podcast on Podbean, here.

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