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Ireland: Health warnings on alcoholic bottles & cans to be implemented

on 10/04/11 at 12:28 pm

Booze News

Health warnings, similar to those on cigarette packets, are part of a new drive to curb the spiralling problems associated with Ireland's alarming alcohol consumption

Alcoholic drinks cans and bottles sold in Ireland will soon carry stark health warnings similar to those on cigarette packets, the Irish Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The blunt messages, displayed prominently on labels, are part of a new drive to curb the spiralling social and health problems associated with the country’s alarming alcohol consumption.

Health Minister Dr James Reilly is preparing legislation compelling alcohol producers to display the warnings on all containers. However, glasses in pubs and restaurants will not have to carry the warnings, at least for the time being – a measure that will bring the powerful vintners lobby on board.

Sources indicated publicans would welcome the warnings as they may help reverse the trend towards cheap alcohol from off-licences and supermarkets.

It is understood the warnings have been recommended by a Government steering group on substance abuse. A briefing note prepared for Dr Reilly urges the ‘inclusion of health advice/warnings on alcohol drink containers (bottles, cans) and on promotional materials’.

Legislation could be ready before the end of the year and would require warnings of detrimental health effects of alcohol to be displayed on cans of beer and bottles of wine and spirits sold in the run up to Christmas.

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