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Home > EPHA open letter to the Ministers for Health of Ireland and Northern Ireland on alcohol minimum pricing.

European Public Health Alliance. [EPHA] EPHA open letter to the Ministers for Health of Ireland and Northern Ireland on alcohol minimum pricing. (06 Feb 2012)

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External website: http://www.epha.org/a/4969

On 6 February 2012, EPHA wrote to the Ministers of Health for Ireland and Northern Ireland in response to the announcement made at the first North/South Conference on alcohol misuse that took place on 26 January 2012. During this Conference, the New Strategic Direction for Alcohol and Drugs was notably presented and a commitment to collaboratively tackle the burden of alcohol abuse was announced.

In its letter, EPHA expressed its support for this move and congratulated both Ministers for their willingness to take a bold step forward in the fight against a considerable public health threat. At a population level, alcohol consumption is driven by price, availability and marketing. Consumers are today, more than ever, confronted with cheap, readily available alcohol and outlets selling beer more cheaply than bottled water. This, combined with sophisticated marketing techniques, has led to a significant increase in consumption.

EPHA has consistently advocated actions, in the area of pricing, availability, access and marketing, to reduce alcohol-related harm. The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe has produced comprehensive reports documenting the evidence for these actions, pricing interventions being the most effective way to reduce levels of consumption and minimum price per unit being the most effective measure of all.

Alcohol use represents a number of challenges that go beyond borders and make collaborative approaches necessary. In that sense, the European public health community welcomed the Ministers’ willingness to jointly tackle one of the most preventable disease burdens and hoped this move will have a positive impact on alcohol policy developments across the European region.

 

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