Home > HRB finds 80% believe current alcohol consumption levels here too high.

Drinks Industry Ireland. [Drinks Industry Ireland] HRB finds 80% believe current alcohol consumption levels here too high. (27 Aug 2012)

External website: http://www.drinksindustryireland.ie/article.aspx?i...

While over four in five people (85 per cent) believe that current levels of alcohol consumption in Ireland are too high, only one in 10 (nine per cent) know the recommended maximum number of standard drinks that they can safely consume in one week: 14 for women and 21 for men, according to the results of a survey, Alcohol: Public knowledge, attitudes and behaviour, published by the Health Research Board recently.

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

The findings show that one in six people (17 per cent) 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 100ml of wine.

Of the 1,020 people surveyed, three in four (73 per cent) believe that Irish society tolerates high levels of alcohol consumption. A considerable majority (72 per cent) of the people state that they know someone who, in their opinion, drinks too much and 42 per cent of this group state that this person is an immediate family member.

Three in every five (58 per cent) don’t believe the Government is currently doing enough to reduce alcohol consumption and almost four in five (78 per cent) 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).

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

The standout findings as far as the VFI is concerned are:
• 58 per cent of Irish people believe that there should be a minimum price below which alcohol cannot be sold
• The majority believe that alcohol should be sold in a separate premises to food and other household products
• Of those that have purchased alcohol in supermarkets, 52 per cent believe that the price of alcohol in supermarket has fallen
• Of the 18 to 24 year-olds surveyed, 65 per cent buy more alcohol when on promotion in supermarkets
• 47 per cent believe that the Government should reduce the number of outlets selling alcohol.

“Our members have called for a minimum price at which alcohol will be sold, for segregated areas and for the end to price-driven promotion and we are happy to see that the public support us in what we have been calling for,” stated VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben, “We are also encouraged by Government soundings on these issues but it is now time for action.

“The Irish pub will not be found wanting in this process and the VFI and our members are keen to ensure that we develop a better relationship between Irish society and alcohol which will in the end be to all our benefits.

“The VFI would welcome any opportunity to discuss with other stakeholders the issues so clearly identified in the HRB survey.”


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