Scotland is still drinking too much as a nation health chiefs have warned.

The alert comes despite new figures showing a decline in the amount of alcohol sold per person.

The amount of pure alcohol sold fell 3% per person between 2011 and 2012, according to a report from NHS Health Scotland.

While alcohol consumed in pubs and clubs has significantly fallen (34%) in Scotland since 1994, the amount of alcohol bought to drink at home increased by 45% over the same period.

Overall, Scots have consumed 10 million fewer bottles of wine, three million bottles of spirits or 35 million pints of beer each year since 2009.

Despite that, the figures show 10.9 litres of pure alcohol was sold for every adult in Scotland, the equivalent of every person drinking 21 units of alcohol a week, the safe drinking limit for men but more than the 14 units a week recommended for women.

Alcohol sales in Scotland were 6% higher than in 1994 and last year 19% more drink per person was sold in Scotland than in England and Wales.

Vodka proved to be one of the most popular drinks, with sales of the spirit more than double the level south of the Border.

Last year around two-thirds of all drink sold (69%) was in off-sales, according to the figures.

A total of 60% of the alcohol sold in off-sales and supermarkets cost less than 50p per unit -- the Scottish Government's proposed minimum price for alcohol.

Around one-quarter of alcohol sold in off-sales cost less than 40p per unit (26%).

Mark Robinson, public health information manager at NHS Health Scotland, said: "It is good news for Scotland's health and wellbeing that alcohol consumption is starting to decline.

"We know that the ban on multi-buy promotions was associated with a fall in sales and that alcohol affordability has declined as a result of the challenging economic climate.

"However, although these ­positive effects are welcome, we are still drinking too much as a nation, and a large proportion of alcohol is still being sold at relatively low prices."

Of the 10 wine-producing ­countries that sold most products in Scotland's off-sales, the majority of wine from four nations - Italy, Chile, South Africa and Spain - cost less than 50p per unit.

Patrick Browne, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub ­Association (SBPA), which represents 5000 premises and some major brewers, said education campaigns were impacting on habits.

But he urged ministers not to rush into further legislation.

Mr Browne said: "These figures are both interesting and significant.As well as legislation and awareness the recession is also playing a part.

"We are also seeing a reduction in hospital admissions and deaths. But the question remains as to why Scotland consumes more than England and Wales. Its not just down to our tradition of consuming more spirits. Given that it appears measures introduced in Scotland appear to be working perhaps its time for the Government to pause and see what more these changes can bring before bringing in further legislation."

The Wines and Spirits Trades Association represents several of the major supermarkets on alcohol issues.

Chief executive Miles Beale said: "We welcome the continued decline in alcohol consumption in Scotland. A minimum unit price of 50p was predicted to achieve a 5.7% drop in consumption. Questions must now be asked about why the Scottish Government is continuing to pursue this unfair, ineffective and probably illegal policy."

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