“Time now please” strong public support for action by Government to address national drink problem
Vested interests shouldn’t dictate alcohol policy
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has welcomed the findings of the national poll conducted by IPSOS/MRBI for the Health Research Board which indicates strong public support for action by Government to address alcohol misuse in Ireland. It is clear that there is strong and growing public support for the range of measures proposed by the National Substance Misuse Group, of which NYCI was a member, last January.
“NYCI has been campaigning for a number of years to address alcohol misuse among young people under 18 years. We have among the highest levels of alcohol consumption by those under 18 years in Europe, with 1 in 5 under 18s being a weekly drinker. All the national and international evidence demonstrates that policies which address price, availability and promotion can reduce the quantity and frequency of drinking by young people under 18,” said James Doorley, NYCI Assistant Director.
“We have consistently called for the introduction of a minimum price, restrictions on the availability and sale of alcohol and stringent limits on the advertising and marketing of alcohol. This survey indicates that not only is there strong evidence to back up these measures but also now significant public support,” continued Mr Doorley.
The survey finds:
85% state that alcohol consumption in Ireland is too high
78% believe the Government has a responsibility to implement public health measures to address high alcohol consumption
58% believe the Government is not doing enough to address alcohol related harm
58% support the introduction of a minimum price
65% agree that number of outlets selling alcohol has increased in last 10 years
47% support reduction in the number of outlets selling alcohol
76% support the introduction of a watershed on TV prohibiting alcohol advertising before 9pm
57% support banning all outdoor advertising of alcohol
“The past 15 years have seen numerous committees and dozens of reports which have all largely recommended the same reasonable measures to reduce and better manage alcohol consumption in Ireland. These reports have been stymied by the powerful drinks industry, who have poured millions into lobbying and marketing, and by political handwringing and inaction.
“Successive Governments have allowed the vested interests in the drinks industry to dictate alcohol policy. It is clear that the majority of the public support reasonable measures to address alcohol misuse and protect young people from alcohol related harm and are unhappy with the lack of action by the State.”
“The current Government has the recommendations of the National Substance Misuse Strategy on its desk. Now is the time to wrest control of alcohol policy from the drinks industry and put the health and well being of the public ahead of the profits of the vested interests,” concluded Mr Doorley.
The National Youth Council of Ireland is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. www.youth.ie