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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 483 - Alcohol advertising [10869/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 483 - Alcohol advertising [10869/14]. (04 Mar 2014)

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483. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the introduction of a code to ban price based advertising of alcohol; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10869/14] 

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Last October, the Government approved an extensive package of measures to deal with alcohol misuse to be incorporated in a Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. These measures are based on the recommendations contained in the Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy.


The package of measures to be implemented will include the regulation of the marketing and advertising of alcohol, provision for minimum unit pricing, regulation of sports sponsorship, structural separation of alcohol from other products in mixed trading outlets and labelling of alcohol products.


In relation to the regulation of marketing and advertising of alcohol, the Bill will specifically include the following provisions: - limit advertising of alcohol on television and radio from 2016 to evening hours; - limit advertising of alcohol in cinemas to films classified as over 18s; - restrict advertising of alcohol in outdoor media from 2018 with a statutory code of practice to govern such advertising in the interim; - advertising of alcohol in print media will be regulated by way of a statutory code; and - set limits on how alcohol is portrayed in advertisements (e.g. prowess or sexual content).


In relation to minimum unit pricing, this is a mechanism of imposing a statutory floor in price levels per gram of alcohol that must be legally observed by retailers in both the on and off trade sector. This is a targeted measure, designed to prevent the sale of alcohol at very cheap prices. It is mainly aimed at those who are higher risk, such as adolescents and people who have a harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption pattern.


Work is continuing in my Department on the development of a framework for the implementation of these measures. A health impact assessment, in conjunction with Northern Ireland, was commissioned in 2013, as part of the process of developing a legislative basis for minimum unit pricing. The health impact assessment will study the impact of different minimum prices on a range of areas such as health, crime and likely economic impact. The study should be finalised by mid-2014.

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