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Monitoring the Public Health (Alcohol) Act - Opportunities and challenges

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Denise Keogh (Dep Health Ireland), NSAPAG, 22 May 2019

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Monitoring the Public Health (Alcohol) Act - Opportunities and challenges

  1. 1. Monitoring the Public Health (Alcohol) Act Opportunities and challenges Denise Keogh 22nd May 2019
  2. 2. Why do we need alcohol legislation • Mental Health – contributory factor in half of all suicides and in deliberate self-harm • Cancer – 900 newly diagnosed cancers in Ireland are caused by alcohol and alcohol- related cancers • Alcohol responsible for 1 in 10 breast cancers in Ireland • Children – 1 in 11 young people negatively effected by alcohol - emotional impacts, abuse and violence, family relations, changes in parental behaviour and neglect • Homelessness – alcohol 3rd most common reason
  3. 3. Why do we need alcohol legislation • €1.5 billion. €1 for every €10 spent on public health • Cost of alcohol harm to others €872.75 million • Absenteeism - alcohol-related €76.74 million • Employees working extra hours due to co-workers’ drinking €45.86 million
  4. 4. Objectives of the Act • Reduce alcohol consumption to 9.1 litres of pure alcohol per person per annum by 2020, • Delay the initiation of alcohol consumption by children and young people, • Reduce the harms caused by the misuse of alcohol, and • Regulate the supply and price of alcohol in order to minimise the possibility and incidence of alcohol related harm;
  5. 5. Challenges • Initiated December 2015 • Enacted October 2018
  6. 6. Challenges
  7. 7. Challenges
  8. 8. Main Provisions • Minimum unit pricing • Health labelling of alcohol products • The regulation of certain aspects of the advertising and marketing of alcohol • Separation and reduced visibility of alcohol products in mixed trading outlets • The regulation of the sale and supply of alcohol in certain circumstances
  9. 9. Minimum Unit Pricing • MUP will prevent alcohol being sold at pocket money prices so that it is out of reach of our children • A woman can reach her weekly recommended low-risk limit for €5.49. • A man can reach his weekly recommended low-risk limit for €8.49.
  10. 10. Minimum Unit Pricing • Sheffield Report - 10c MUP - high risk drinkers are estimated to reduce consumption by 15.1%, increasing risk drinkers by 7.2% and low risk drinkers by 3.1% • €1.7 billion savings over a 20-year-period
  11. 11. Minimum Unit Pricing • 2013 Government Decision on simultaneous commencement • Minister’s intention to seek a revised Government Decision to implement MUP as soon as possible • Brexit
  12. 12. Labelling of Alcohol Products • Unique opportunity to disseminate health promotion messages to consumers • Ensure that consumers can make informed choices about their drinking • Enable all of us to track our alcohol intake • Important component of a comprehensive public health strategy to reduce alcohol-related harms.
  13. 13. Labelling of Alcohol Products
  14. 14. Advertising • Creation of an alcohol free environment in areas frequented by children • Restriction of alcohol advertising across different media and locations • Limit the content of advertisements • Advertisements will include important health information such as the link between alcohol and cancer or other illnesses. • Prevent advertisements from conveying messages linking positive and healthy lifestyles or social or sporting success with alcohol
  15. 15. Separation and reduced visibility of alcohol products in mixed trading outlets • A single area separated by a physical barrier of a minimum height of not less than 1.2 metres through which alcohol products and advertisements for alcohol products cannot be visible. • One or more adjacent enclosed storage units 2.2m. Alcohol products and ads not visible up to a height of 1.5m. • Not more than three adjacent storage units which may indicate they contain alcohol products and must contain only alcohol products and advertisements for those products. 2.2m x 1m • Storage unit at the till area not accessible to customers and no alcohol ads. Products must not be visible when the unit is closed and it must be kept closed when not in use.
  16. 16. Separation and reduced visibility of alcohol products in mixed trading outlets • Reduce the consumption of alcohol through separating it from other every day grocery items in our mixed outlets • Reduces the likelihood that our younger children will be exposed to alcohol products and advertising in their daily lives • Ensure that children can grow up in circumstances where they are not regularly seeing to alcohol products and advertising
  17. 17. Separation and reduced visibility of alcohol products in mixed trading outlets
  18. 18. Regulation of the sale and supply of alcohol • Prevent promotions that will undercut minimum unit pricing. • Prohibit promotions that incentivise consumption • Reduce consumption
  19. 19. Opportunities • First time alcohol legislated from a public health perspective • Change our behaviour, attitudes and culture when it comes to our relationship with drink • Mitigate the damage caused by the misuse of alcohol to our health, society and economy • Denormalise alcohol for future generations
  20. 20. Challenges • Regulations • EU / WTO processes • Industry • Legal challenge(s)

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