Retail Minimum Alcohol Pricing Sales Come Into Force Today

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Minimum unit pricing on retail alcohol sales comes into force today.

Ireland joins Scotland, Wales, the Russian Federation and regions in Australia and Canada in having such a policy.

A minimum unit price of 10c per gram of alcohol is provided for in section 11 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018.

Minimum unit pricing will set a floor price beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold and will target products that are cheap relative to their strength.

The new law will largely affect alcohol sold in off-licences, shops, and supermarkets.

A broad breakdown of the new measures shows a standard bottle of wine cannot be sold for less than €7.40 and a can of beer for less than €1.70.

Spirits like gin or vodka with 40% alcohol content cannot be sold for less than €20.70 and a 700ml bottle of whiskey for less than €22.

The action is designed to reduce the harms caused by the misuse of alcohol and to delay the initiation of alcohol consumption by children and young people.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: It worked in Scotland and I look forward to it working here.”

A HSE report from 2007 states that the estimated overall cost to Irish society of problem alcohol use is €3.7 billion annually.

This includes costs to health care system , alcohol related suicides ,road accidents, crime, absence from work, alcohol related accidents at work and alcohol related premature mortality.