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Mixed Reactions To New Alcohol Bill

The proposed Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 has been met with mixed reactions from groups within the drinks industry. The bill's main aims are to reduce alcohol abuse by the introduction of health warnings on labels, stricter marketing laws and minimum pricing.

Industry groups such as the National Off-Licence Association have welcomed the move, but others remain sceptical. Former Minister of State for Primary Care and Substance Misuse, Róisín Shortall criticised the proposed legislation for not being comprehensive enough.

In an editorial written by Shortall for the Irish Times, she criticised the Government for dropping proposals to ban alcohol brands from sponsoring sports events. She went on to say that the promotion of alcohol in this fashion has a particular impact on the early initiation of young people into drinking.

Suzanne Costello, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland welcomed the new rules, but expressed concern at "a significant weakness in the proposal," again in terms alcohol brands sponsoring events. Brid Smith of People Before Profit has also criticised the bill, calling it "grossly inadequate."

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