New opinion poll shows overwhelming public support for
Government action to curb alcohol marketing that appeals to young people
82% of people who support this action are Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil supporters
A new opinion poll commissioned by Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland shows strong support for Government action to curb alcohol marketing that appeals to young people.
The poll, conducted by Ireland Thinks, between 12 and 16th June among a sample of 1,300 adults across the country, found that the public would support stronger regulation of alcohol marketing than is proposed in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.
Notably, the support for action amongst the supporters of political parties – Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Independents – central to the Programme for Government, consistently reflected the national average.
Political party supporters who strongly agreed (excluding neither) with a total ban on alcohol marketing to young people were:
- 84% Fine Gael
- 82% Fianna Fáil
- 79% Sinn Fein
- 85% Independents
- 79% Labour Party
The poll shows adults across Ireland, with over 80% in Leinster, Connacht, Ulster and Munster, strongly agreeing with a total ban on alcohol marketing to young people.
The poll also demonstrates a strong desire to protect children and young people from alcohol marketing.
These findings offer overwhelming support for the Government and other political parties to protect young people from being bombarded by alcohol marketing. A curb on advertising is one of a number of evidence-based measures contained in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which is being continuously delayed.
This poll suggests that the Oireachtas is out of step with the public desire to protect our young people and shows they want them to stand up to vested interests to stop the recruitment of young people as the next generation of drinkers.
Commenting on the findings, Alcohol Health Alliance Chair, Prof. Frank Murray, said it was time for the Government to respond to the strong public desire to protect young people from alcohol marketing.
“These findings very clearly show the need for the Government and other political parties to stand-up to vested interests, who are trying to water-down the Public Health Alcohol Bill, and enact this long-delayed legislation. Their supporters want them to take a historic step to protect children from marketing tactics designed to recruit the next generation of drinkers” Prof Murray said.
“It is our strong belief that the measures within the Bill, when taken together, will provide a reasonable, pragmatic means to achieving the ambition of this progressive public health initiative – namely to protect children, to ease the pressure on our health services and make for a healthier and more productive society for everyone. It’s time to take this historic step forward to create a more sustainable economy and better society for everyone” he said.
Dr Bobby Smyth, Faculty of Addictions Psychiatry in the College of Psychiatrists, and Board Member of Alcohol Action Ireland, also called for action:
“This poll demonstrates clearly that public opinion is very much in favour of firm action on alcohol marketing aimed at children.
The Public Health Alcohol Bill does contain a modest set of regulations that will limit the appeal of alcohol advertising, particularly to children. Evidence based research has consistently demonstrated that alcohol marketing including advertising increases the likelihood that children will start to drink alcohol, and with increased drinking amongst baseline drinkers.”
The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill contains a range of measures designed to work together to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland so lessening alcohol related harms. Implemented together, they will provide a reasonable, pragmatic means to achieving the ambition of this progressive public health initiative.