Alcohol Action Ireland today (26th September) welcomed the findings published in the British Medical Journal that showed significant reductions in alcohol purchases since the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol products in Scotland.
The research examined the impact of the MUP policy on the amount and price of alcohol purchased in Scotland in the 34-week period immediately after implementation in May 2018.
The observed reductions of up to 7.6% in alcohol purchases were more than double the modelling-based estimates.
In Ireland, a minimum unit pricing measure has been enacted as part of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 but has yet to be commenced by the Minister of Health. The introduction of MUP is a central policy initiative of the Act and is predicted to reduce Ireland’s whole-of-population consumption of alcohol by an estimated 8%.
Ireland’s alcohol consumption remains exceptionally high with Irish drinkers consuming 80% more than the global average. The outcome of such excessive consumption is a series of chronic public health outcomes, none more pronounced than over 1000 deaths – more than 3 a day – every year from alcohol related illnesses and harms.
Alcohol Action Ireland call on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, to push ahead with the immediate introduction of MUP.
Commenting on the latest findings, Eunan McKinney, Head of Communications & Advocacy, said:
These results are incredibly encouraging and clearly demonstrate the proven capacity of the measure to really make a meaningful impact on Ireland’s excessive consumption of alcohol. The Minister for Health and his government colleagues now need to stop this constant procrastination and move ahead with implementing the law as quickly as possible, as lives can be saved.
The details of the research paper published and the accompanying editorial commentary can found at: