The National Substance Misuse Strategy for Northern Ireland, expected to be published early 2012, is presumed to recommend a ban of all alcohol outdoor advertising as well as alcohol sponsorship of sports events, concerts or festivals. The strategy is also expected to include minimum pricing.
Other measures to be brought forward in the report are a ban on cheap promotions and price increases. While the measures are intended to tackle underage and problem drinking, they are prone to be controversial and heavily resisted.
Fiona Ryan, chief executive of Alcohol Action Ireland, which is a member of the strategy’s steering group spoke to the BBC about the report. She told the British broadcaster that sports sponsorship was “very lucrative” for the alcohol industry and gave them access to the young male market.
She also underlined that alcohol was as much a threat to people’s health as tobacco and that one thirteenth of the Irish’s health budget was being spent on alcohol related causes: “2,000 hospital beds a night are in terms of alcohol related causes, one in 11 kids tell us they are impacted by parental drinking, one in seven kids are in care because of parental drinking.”
The recommendations in the National Substance Misuse Strategy will be subject to a parliamentary debate.
Source: bbc.co.uk 02/07/12