NHS Health Scotland
Outcome Indicators


u. Evidence for over-provision assessments

There is evidence for the effectiveness of:

  1. Regulating and limiting the hours and days of sale, numbers of alcohol outlets, and restrictions on access to alcohol in reducing both alcohol use and alcohol-related problems.

NICEPHG024 Recommendations:

  1. Consider revising legislation on licensing to ensure:

    1. Regulating – protection of the public’s health is one of its objectives

    2. health bodies are responsible authorities

    3. licensing departments can take into account the links between the availability of alcohol and alcohol related harm when considering a licence application (that is, they can take into account the number of alcohol outlets in a given area and times when it is on sale and the potential links to local crime and disorder and alcohol-related illnesses and deaths)

    4. Immediate sanctions can be imposed on any premises in breach of their licence, following review proceedings.

  2. Consider reducing personal import allowances to support the introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol.

Scottish policy note

A public health principle has been enshrined in the new Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 which came into force in September 2009. This legislation applies to both the on-trade (pubs, clubs, restaurants) and off-trade (supermarkets, convenience stores, off-licences) in Scotland. Protection and Improvement of Public Health is one of five licensing objectives that licensing boards must take into consideration when granting or renewing licences.



WHO. 2009. Evidence for the effectiveness and cost–effectiveness of interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm. World Health Organisation: Europe.

The University of Sheffield, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). 2009. Final draft of Report 1 Macro Level Interventions for Alcohol Use Disorders: Effectiveness Review to the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence. National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence.

Babor, T., Caetano, R., Casswell, S., Edwards, G., Giesbrecht, N., Graham, K., et al.  2010. Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity. Research and Public Policy.2nd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press

NICE PHG024. Alcohol-use disorders: preventing the development of hazardous and harmful drinking. National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence.