The Public Health (Alcohol) Act was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins on October 17th, 2018.
The aim of the act is to improve public health by decreasing the consumption of alcohol, according to AskAboutAlcohol.ie, which is run by the Health Service Executive (HSE). The act provides measures to regulate alcohol consumption such as allowing the Minister for Health to increase the price of alcohol, limiting the sponsorship and advertising of alcohol and restricting its sale in certain circumstances.
The Act states that the minimum price per gram of alcohol is €0.10 which is multiplied by the product’s weight in grams to calculate the minimum price for the item. The Minister for Health can order an increase of the minimum price per gram after three years following the passing of the Act and then after 18 months once the first order has been made.
All licensed premises and alcohol containers must carry notices informing customers of the effects of drinking, the risks of drinking when pregnant, the quantity of alcohol in grams, the energy value in both kilocalories and kilojoules and the details of a website to be set up by the HSE. Any advertisement for alcohol must also carry this information.
The Act contains a series of measures to reduce the promotion of alcohol around children. Alcohol manufacturers cannot advertise at or sponsor any event which is aimed towards children or where most participants are children.
As well as this, alcohol brands cannot be printed on children’s clothing. For publications where children make up 20 per cent of the readership, alcohol products cannot be advertised on the front or back cover or on any wrapping containing the publication.
Section 20 of the Act covers the separation of alcohol from all other products in stores. Alcohol sections must have a physical barrier and customers should not be required to pass through this area to get to other sections.
All sections of the Act will come into effect between November 12th, 2019 and November 12th, 2021.