A majority of Irish consumers do not think the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill should be introduced in its current form, according to a poll from Independent Research Agency, iReach. The poll, commissioned by the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), found that Irish consumers are not in favour of a number of measures proposed in the Bill, including advertising restrictions.
The Alcohol Bill will ban images of people, animals, scenic shots of Ireland and scenes in pubs from appearing in alcohol advertisements. The iReach poll found that 62% of people are opposed to these restrictions, with only 17% in favour of the measures. Furthermore, 72% of respondents said they don’t think these image-banning measures will reduce alcohol misuse, with just 12% believing they will work.
The Alcohol Bill also allows for regulations to be brought in to stop establishments from supplying free alcohol. The poll found that 57% of people are against the banning of complimentary drinks in certain spaces, such as in hairdressers or supermarkets. Additionally, 71% say that banning complimentary drinks in these establishments won’t reduce alcohol misuse.
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As part of this survey, consumers were also asked if they believe the government’s proposed measures - structural separation, advertising restrictions and health warnings on alcohol labels - are going too far, or are the best way to target alcohol misuse. The poll found that 47% believe the government’s proposed measures are too strict, with just 2% saying they are the right thing to do.
Patricia Callan, director of the ABFI, said; “There is a misconception that the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill has broad-sweeping public support. This research clearly shows that Irish consumers are against certain measures proposed in the Bill.
“While the drinks industry supports the objectives of the Bill - to tackle harmful and underage drinking in Ireland - we are concerned that certain proposals in the Bill are poorly targeted and are not based on evidence. This means that they are unlikely to actually reduce alcohol misuse. Furthermore, these measures will have unintended negative consequences on jobs and businesses across the country, from grain to glass. It’s vital that the government does not damage a thriving Irish industry when introducing legislation to achieve public health objectives.”