Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White, above left, with Health Minister James Reilly launching the measures to deal with alcohol misuse that will be introduced in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.
“Irish adults drink too much and drink in a harmful pattern. In 2011, the average per-capita pure alcohol consumption for everyone over the age of 15 was 11.63 litres; this roughly equates to a bottle of vodka per week per person over the age of 15. Given that 19% of the adult population are abstainers, the actual amount of alcohol consumed per adult drinker is considerably more. There was a 161% increase in the numbers of off-licences opening between 1998 & 2010. Over the same period the number of pub licences decreased by 19%.
With that in mind.
The new measures include:
Minimum pricing per unit of alcohol – targeting cheap, strong alcohol in off licences or supermarkets.
Limit advertising of alcohol on TV and radio from 2016 to evening hours and in cinemas to films classified as over 18s. The State will also draw up a statutory code of practice to restrict advertising of alcohol in ‘outdoor media’, from 2018 and regulate advertising of alcohol in print media. It will also ‘set limits’ on how alcohol is portrayed in advertisements.
Regarding sports sponsorship, the existing voluntary code that governs sports sponsorship will be placed on a statutory footing. And a working group chaired by the Department of An Taoiseach will report within a year on the value, evidence, feasibility and implications of alcohol companies sponsoring major sporting events.
Health warnings will be placed on all alcoholic drink containers – detailing the amount of pure alcohol as measured in grams and the calorie count in each container.