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Home > HRB report highlights public knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to alcohol. Press release.

[Health Research Board] HRB report highlights public knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to alcohol. Press release. (11 Jul 2012)

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More than four out five people (85%) believe that current levels of alcohol consumption in Ireland are too high, according to the results of a new survey, Alcohol: Public knowledge, attitudes and behaviour, published today by the Health Research Board.

The survey, conducted and analysed by Ipsos MRBI, sought to measure Irish people’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in relation to alcohol consumption, marketing and selling of alcohol and current and potential responses to alcohol-related health and social harms.

The survey findings show that one in six people (17%) in Ireland did not drink alcohol in the 12 months prior to the survey and that very few people understand what a standard drink is - a measure containing 10 grams of alcohol- for example one glass of beer, one pub measure of spirits, or 100mls of wine. Only one in ten (9%) people know the recommended maximum number of standard drinks that they can safely consume in one week, 14 for women and 21 for men.

Of those surveyed, three in every four people (73%) believe that Irish society tolerates high levels of alcohol consumption. A considerable majority (72%) of the people surveyed say that they know someone who, in their opinion, drinks too much and 42% of this group say that this person is an immediate family member.

Three in every five (58%) do not believe the government are currently doing enough to reduce alcohol consumption and almost four in five (78%) people think the government has responsibility for introducing public health measures to address alcohol consumption. People’s responses to survey questions indicate support for implementing a number of the individual measures in the recently published Report of the Working Group on a National Substance Misuse Strategy (for alcohol)*.

The majority support: labelling alcohol containers to include calories, alcoholic strength, ingredients and health warnings (82%-98%); introducing further measures to deal with alcohol and driving (84%-94%); restricting certain types of alcohol advertising (57%-80%); introducing minimum pricing (58%); seeking contributions to pay for social and health consequences resulting from excess alcohol use from the people who drink alcohol (61% -71%)


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