New laws restricting the advertising of alcohol have come into effect in Ireland this week.
The measures include a ban on alcohol advertised on public transport and at public transport stops or stations and within 200 metres of schools.
As part of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018, alcohol advertising in cinemas will also be prohibited except for films with an 18 classification or in a licensed premises in a cinema.
Children’s clothing that promotes alcohol will also be banned.
“Studies report consistently that exposure to alcohol advertising is associated with an increased likelihood that children will start to drink or will drink greater quantities if they already do,” said Ireland Health Minister Simon Harris.
“These measures aim to change that situation in Ireland and to remove alcohol advertising from the day-to-day lives of our children.”
He added: “We still have a lot of work to do in this area. An analysis of data from the Global Burden of Disease Study published in March 2019 showed that Ireland has the third-highest levels of adolescent binge drinking in the world at 61% for females and 58.8% for males.
“Reports in October this year identified an 80% increase in 2018 in the number of children under-16 admitted to Irish hospitals because of alcohol intoxication.”
The measures have been welcomed by Drinks Ireland, a body representing alcoholic drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland.
“Overall, we support the objectives of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act, to tackle alcohol misuse and underage drinking. We believe that measures introduced should be proportionate, evidence-based and effective,” said Patricia Callan, director of Drinks Ireland.
“As an industry, we are committed to the effective implementation and full compliance with the advertising measures in the Alcohol Act being introduced today.
“We have a proven track record of implementing positive change in this space. Since 2003, the drinks industry has proudly adhered to some of the strictest advertising codes in the world for both content and volume of alcohol advertising.”
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