Alcohol Action welcomes government move on alcohol abuse.

‘Remains to be seen if alcohol industry will take legal challenge with regard to legislation.’

Sligo News File Online.

Alcohol Action Ireland has welcomed the proposed Public Health (Alcohol) Bill as a “landmark announcement” which “signals the government’s intent to regulate alcohol as a public health matter for the first time.”

The legislation, said the organisation, “will address the serious issue of alcohol harm which has blighted the lives of so many people,” and “enable the State to protect the young and the vulnerable.”

Alcohol Action CEO, Suzanne Costello said: “Measures to implement minimum unit pricing, new enforcement powers for Environmental Health Officers, and health labelling of alcohol products are all welcome and will have a significant impact.”

However, she was critical of the decision to place the “existing ineffective voluntary code of practice for sponsorships for drinks companies” on a legislative footing, describing it as “a significant weakness in the proposal” which Alcohol Action was now calling on Health Minister, Leo Varadkar to re-examine before the bill is published in full.

She said it now remained to be seen if the alcohol industry will take a legal challenge with regard to the legislation, “specifically minimum unit pricing, as they have done in other jurisdictions.”