RCPI calls for MUP introduction & outlet restrictions
A new report by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland calls for the introduction of minimum pricing and a restriction on the number of outlets selling alcohol.
24 April 2013 | 0
The RCPI found that the rate of discharge for 15 to 34 year-olds for Alcoholic Liver Disease between 1995 and 2007 increased 247% while for 35 to 49 year-olds it increased 224%.
“There is substantial evidence when you increase the Minimum Unit Price you particularly hit drinkers who have a problem with drinking habits,” stated RCPI Chairman Frank Murray, “They are the people who drink cheap alcohol. It’s ridiculous so many outlets sell alcohol, petrol stations sell alcohol and I can’t understand why that happens.
“We should dramatically reduce the number of outlets selling and increase unit price,” he added.
Responding to yesterday’s RCPI report, ABFI Director Kathryn D’Arcy said, “We welcome the call by RCPI to change the culture of excessive alcohol consumption in this country. We agree with the RCPI that the sale and supply of alcohol to minors should not be tolerated and fully support the enforcement of the existing laws in this regard. We also wholly agree with the calls for further dissemination of guidelines on low risk levels of alcohol consumption.”
But she again stressed, “In order to tackle the root causes of alcohol misuse and to effect the long-term cultural change, a collaborative approach is required”.
“Evidence shows that the principle influencers on youth drinking are parents and peers,” she stated, “ABFI wants to see the introduction of Swedish-style education models which deliver interventions at a young age and have a proven track record in affecting cultural change, as opposed to the current proposals relating to alcohol sponsorship and advertising which are counter-evidential, will damage the impacted sporting and cultural bodies and will impact negatively on a vital part of Ireland’s agri-food industry. The reality is that restricting advertising and sponsorship delivers good soundbytes but will not have a long-term impact on actualising cultural change.
“Shifting societal norms takes time,” she continued, “consider the success that Ireland has had making drink-driving socially unacceptable in this country. ABFI wants to realise a society where alcohol is enjoyed, not abused and getting drunk is not socially acceptable, but getting to that point requires real courage and a collaborative approach.
“Only by all sectors of society working together collaboratively can we confront the many causes and effects of alcohol misuse. It will take time, but we have already seen a 20% fall in alcohol consumption in the last 12 years. If we work together we can change the culture of excessive alcohol consumption in this country.”