Ireland must ‘turn off the tap’ of cheap alcohol

Ireland needs to “turn off the tap of cheap alcohol to some of the most vulnerable individuals” in society, the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform has heard.

From The Irish Times

President designate of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Prof Frank Murray called for Government to significantly increase minimum alcohol prices “as a matter of the highest priority”, something he said would have “immediate and substantial” benefits.

He said minimum unit pricing as proposed under the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, would have an immediate reduction in alcohol sales and an immediate reduction in hospital admissions.

Health minister to take on drugs and alcohol policy

July, 2014

Health minister to take on drugs and alcohol policy

Health Minister Leo Varadkar will take up direct responsibility for the sensitive areas of drug and alcohol policy.

From the Irish Examiner

The decision followed days of confusion within the Department of Health as to who would take over the brief, following the departure of Minster James Reilly and Minister of State Alex White.

A meeting was held yesterday between Mr Varadkar and Minister of State Kathleen Lynch during which the National Substance Misuse Strategy brief was discussed.

Adding alcohol to energy drinks leads to an increased urge to drink

July, 2014

Adding alcohol to energy drinks leads to an increased urge to drink

Public health advocates in recent years have become concerned not with the consumption of energy drinks by youth but also their joint consumption with alcohol by young adults. New research provides evidence of a mechanism through which energy drinks may increase binge drinking: combining energy drinks with alcohol increases people’s desire to keep drinking more than if they drank alcohol alone.

From MedicalXpress


Results will be published in the August 2014 online-only issue of Alcoholism: Clinical Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

Ireland cannot afford the price of cheap alcohol in the off-trade

July, 2014

Ireland cannot afford the price of cheap alcohol in the off-trade

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has said that calls for a reduction in excise duty on alcohol serve only vested interests, not the public health.

“Despite the current claims by alcohol industry bodies, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan last week confirmed that the excise duty on beer, cider and spirits, as a percentage of the price in the on-trade, are still lower now than they were in 2003,” said Suzanne Costello, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland.

Heart health benefits of light drinking brought into question

July, 2014

Heart health benefits of light drinking brought into question

A reduction in alcohol consumption, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, could be linked to improved cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index and blood pressure, according to new research published in The BMJ.

From MedicalXpress


These latest findings challenge the results of previous observational studies which found that the consumption of light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (12-25 units per week) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.