Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 327 - Departmental surveys [14831/17] [Alcohol].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 327 - Departmental surveys [14831/17] [Alcohol]. (28 Mar 2017)

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327. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health the date the latest national alcohol survey was carried out; the principal findings of that survey; the steps taken to tackle this issue on foot of the last survey; his plans to carry out a further survey to get the up-to-date position on this issue and if the steps taken had any effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14831/17]


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy): The second annual Healthy Ireland Survey (published in October 2016) of 7,500 people aged fifteen years and over living in Ireland gives an up-to-date picture of the health of the nation and reports on many lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, diet and mental health.


  Findings in the Survey results include:


  - 75% of the population surveyed consumed alcohol in the previous year and 55% of those who consumed alcohol drank at least once a week and 37% of those that consumed alcohol binge drink on a typical drinking occasion.


  - While 90% of respondents know that alcohol is a risk factor for liver disease, only 27% of women are aware of the increased risk of developing breast cancer as a result of heavy drinking.


  I have arranged for the Department to send you a copy of the summary of the findings of the survey and the link to the survey results is www.healthyireland.ie/about/research/healthy-ireland-survey/.


  The Government approved the publication of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill as a direct policy response to reduce the harms caused by alcohol. Recognising that there is no single simple answer, the Bill includes a range of measures designed to collectively have a positive impact on the health and well-being of Irish people. The Bill includes provisions for: 


 - minimum unit pricing;   - health labelling of alcohol products;   - the regulation of advertising and marketing of alcohol;   - the regulation of sponsorship;   - separation of alcohol products in mixed trading retail outlets; and  - the regulation of the sale and supply of alcohol in certain circumstances


  The Bill commenced Committee Stage in the Seanad on the 26 October 2016. The Bill is scheduled to return to Committee Stage in the Seanad during this session of the Oireachtas. In the interim, consideration will be given to examine how best this important public health measure can be brought forward.


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