Year-on-year public backing for ‘minimum price’ for alcohol shows it’s time to implement Substance Misuse Strategy recommendations on alcohol pricing and marketing

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, today welcomed the news that the majority of Irish people continue to back the introduction of minimum pricing, a floor price below which alcohol cannot be sold, as a way to tackle alcohol-related harm and has called on the Government to implement the National Substance Misuse Strategy recommendations.


The Steering Group Report on the National Substance Misuse Strategy earlier this year recommended that a minimum price for alcohol be introduced as well as restrictions on other forms of alcohol marketing.



Alcohol Action Director Fiona Ryan said: “Popular support for minimum pricing, as demonstrated by today’s findings from the Health Research Board, should be welcome news as the Government and tax payers struggled to deal with the staggering amounts needed to cope with and clean up after alcohol-related harm in Ireland – an estimated €1.2 billion on crime and €1.2 billion on health.



“This research commissioned by the Health Research Board when taken together with previous research commissioned by Alcohol Action Ireland demonstrates year-on-year popular support for minimum pricing and restrictions on alcohol marketing.



“Tackling both alcohol pricing and marketing have been named by the World Health Organisation as two of the most effective ways of reducing alcohol-related harm. Surely it is now time for Government to give active consideration to both.”



The Health Research Board’s findings, like those of Alcohol Action Ireland’s survey “Have We Bottled It?”, showed that consumers were price sensitive and that if the price of alcohol were to increase even marginally then consumers would buy less. Other findings showing a consistent year on year majority popular support included:


 ·                 A 9pm watershed ban for alcohol advertising on TV and radio

 ·                 A ban on alcohol advertising/sponsorship on social networking sites

 ·                 A ban on outdoor advertising for alcohol


In addition Alcohol Action Ireland’s survey also found 67% majority support for removing alcohol from beside or behind tills in stores. The issue of structural separation of alcohol from groceries in shops and supermarkets, also referred to as Section 9 legislation, is currently being considered by the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.




For further information or comment please contact Conor Cullen, Alcohol Action Ireland Communications Officer, on 01-8780612 or 087-7530576.



Notes to the Editor:


The Have We Bottled It? Survey was carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes in August 2010 on behalf of Alcohol Action Ireland. The objective of the research was to measure attitudes to the purchase and consumption of alcohol as well as gauging attitudes to the sale and marketing of alcohol.


The research took the form of an agreed questionnaire which was included in Behaviour and Attitudes telebarometer which is a nationally representative survey of adults age 16+. Some of the questions relating to the consumption and purchasing of alcohol were fielded among an 18+ sample.


For more information, including young people’s experiences of alcohol marketing, go to



Minimum Pricing


 ·                 The Scottish government passed its Minimum Pricing Bill in May. British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to follow suit in England and Wales.

 ·                 Minister for Health Dr James Reilly and his colleague Minister of State at the Department of Health, Roisin Shorthall, have expressed their commitment to introducing minimum pricing legislation in Ireland

 ·                 The World Health Organisation (WHO) has made it clear that there is “undisputable evidence that the price of alcohol matters” and that when the price goes up, alcohol-related harm goes down, with pricing measures having a particular impact on young people’s alcohol consumption.