Alcohol Action Ireland today, Tuesday 11 June, welcomed the contribution from the BBC Panorama programme to the ongoing debate about public health alcohol policy actions.
The programme, broadcast on Monday, 10 June, and presented by broadcaster, Adrian Chiles, identified the lack of commitment from the UK government to establish statutory regulations on health information on alcohol products.
The programme also featured Professor Nick Sheron, Head of Population Hepatology Research Group within Medicine at the University of Southampton, who emphasised the efficacy of a minimum unit price regime for alcohol products as the ‘most effective way to reduce alcohol related harm’.
Prof Sheron also commented that ‘government spends more time listening to the alcohol industry than they do listening to the Doctors’.
In Ireland, the Public Health Alcohol Act, which includes such progressive measures as minimum unit pricing and labelling information for all alcohol products, was enacted almost nine months ago. However, neither measure has yet to be commenced by Minister Simon Harris.
This further delay, after years of debate, is deeply disappointing as Ireland continues to lose three people a day to alcohol related illness and incident.
Alcohol Action Ireland calls on the Minister to clarify the date of commencement for these necessary measures as quickly as possible and certainly before the Oireachtas summer recess.