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Public Health (Alcohol) Act

In October 2018, the Public Health (Alcohol) Act was signed into law by the President of Ireland.

First published in 2015,  the legislation forms part of a suite of measures under the Healthy Ireland framework to improve our health as individuals, and as a nation, and specifically to decrease alcohol consumption across the population.

The act contains a series of evidence-based measures

Minimum unit pricing

Minimum unit pricing will be introduced and set at 10 cent per gram of alcohol in the product

Advertising

Content

The content of advertisements for alcohol products is restricted to

  • An image or reference to an alcohol product
  • The country and region of origin, method of production and place of manufacture
  • The price
  • A brand/corporate name, trade mark
  • Health and pregnancy warnings
  • Details of an alcohol public health website to be provided by the HSE
  • The alcohol by volume (ABV), quantity in grams of alcohol and energy value

Outdoors advertising

No advertising of alcohol products at: schools, creches, public play grounds, (or within 200 metres of these); public transport (trains, trams, buses, taxis, etc); bus/train/tram stops/stations.

Advertising in publications

Advertising space for alcohol products restricted to 20% per publication.
No advertising of alcohol products in publications aimed at children or on front/back cover or wrapper.

Advertising during events
No advertising of alcohol products in or on a sports area or at an event aimed particularly at children, or where the majority of participants or competitors are children.

Sponsorship

No sponsorship by alcohol companies of events where the majority of participants or competitors are children or aimed particularly at children or an event that involves driving or racing mechanically propelled vehicles.

Cinema advertising
Advertising of alcohol products restricted to over 18s classified films and licensed premises.

Retail

Separation of alcohol from everyday products
Stores will have to confine the sale of alcohol to a single area in the premises which is separated, through which alcohol products are not visible, and to which customers do not have to pass through to buy “ordinary” products or to a closed storage unit(s) which contains only alcohol products.
Point of sale advertising of alcohol products will now be confined to the designated display area or the inside of the storage cabinet.

Price promotions
Prohibition of price-based promotions such as reduced price and free offers and tougher restrictions on targeted promotions such as ‘happy-hour’ and promotions targeted to a particular category of persons.

Labelling
Labels on alcohol products will include the number of grams of alcohol per container, calorific content, health warnings in relation to consuming alcohol in pregnancy and a link to a public health website, with information on the dangers of alcohol.

Enforcement

Authorised HSE officers will be empowered to inspect and ensure the measures are enforced, and penalties will be issued for non-compliance, including fixed payment notices.

Full details are available in the legislation is available here:
http://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/PHAB-2015-as-published.pdf

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