Alcohol Strategy key measures

The key measure approved by the Government is the drafting a Public Health (Alcohol) Bill to provide for:

1) Minimum unit pricing for retailing of alcohol products

  • MUP sets a minimum price for per gram of alcohol in the product
  • It will target alcohol cheap relative to strength- particularly low cost products in the off-trade especially supermarkets

2) Regulation of marketing and advertising of alcohol, specifically to
  • 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
  • work will be undertaken with relevant government departments to put in place a process which will identify the forms, frequency and prevalence of outdoor media advertising to be either encompassed or exempted from any restrictions
  • advertising of alcohol in print media will be regulated by way of a statutory code
  • Set limits on how alcohol is portrayed in advertisements (e.g. prowess or sexual content)

3) Enforcement powers will be given to Environmental Health Officers in relation
  • regulations relating to the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol products under section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008
  • structural separation of alcohol from other products under section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 which may be commenced
  • Any provision(s) of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which require enforcement measures

4) Structural Separation

The Departments of Justice and Equality and Health have agreed a 3-step approach to provide for the structured separation of alcohol from other products in mixed trading outlets. This involves replacing the current voluntary code with a statutory code under Section 17 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 and after 2 years both Departments will review its effectiveness in achieving the policy objectives of Section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008.

5) Regulation of sports sponsorship

The government recognises the public health concerns associated with alcohol sponsorship of sport and the potential impact of any regulatory measures on funding for sports organisations a) The existing voluntary code that governs sports sponsorship will be placed on a statutory footing

[NOTE: A working group chaired by the Department of An Taoiseach will report within 12 months on

  • The value, evidence, feasibility and implications (including the public health consequences for children and young people) of regulating sponsorship by alcohol companies of major sporting events,
  • Its consideration of financial implications and alternative sources of funding for sporting organisations to replace potential lost revenue arising from any such regulation]

6) Health labelling of alcohol products which will see
  • Health warnings and advice (including for pregnancy) on all alcoholic drink containers (bottles, cans etc.) and on promotional materials;
  • The amount of pure alcohol as measured in grams and the calorie count contained in each container/measure on the label/container.

  • Public health messaging relating to alcohol will be based on grams of alcohol and that weekly low-risk drinking guidelines should be 168 grams (17 standard drinks) and 112 grams (11 standard drinks) for men and women respectively
  • The other measures (eg for the HSE, professional bodies etc) set out in the National Substance Misuse Strategy, upon which provide the recommendations and evidence for today’s decision, are endorsed and are to be progressed by the relevant departments and organisations as set out in that report.