Irish Medical Organisation

IMO welcomes Government move on minimum pricing for alcohol

“A key public health intervention which will help in the ongoing battle against alcohol misuse” – IMO President


Tuesday 4 May 2021.  The IMO has strongly welcomed the decision of the government today to approve the commencement of Section 11 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 and to introduce minimum unit pricing on the sale of alcohol in Ireland.


Speaking today, Dr. Ina Kelly, President of the IMO said that the decision was a key public health intervention which will help in the ongoing battle against alcohol misuse.


Dr. Kelly said that the IMO has been advocating for a number of years in favour of measures to reduce the level of alcohol consumption and binge drinking, particularly among young people, in Ireland. 


Alcohol is directly associated with over 60 acute and chronic conditions ranging from accidents and assaults to mental health problems and suicide , cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis and certain cancers including cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, bowel and breast cancer in women.


Irish people continue to consume on average 11 litres of alcohol per year, one of the highest rates in Europe, while HBSC figures show that 2 in 5  young people aged between 15 and 17 years old report having been drunk.


Decades of research shows that there is a direct correlation between the price of alcohol, alcohol consumption and alcohol related deaths.


Minimum unit pricing is one of the key measures contained in the Act that will help to reduce the high level of consumption and alcohol related harm in Ireland. Dr. Kelly said that minimum unit pricing was an important intervention which would pay dividends for the health of the public.

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