A year today, alcohol advertising will be banned within 200 m of a school, crèche or a local authority playground. The State’s first health-related alcohol legislation will also restrict advertising in cinemas and on public service vehicles including buses, trains, at bus stops and train stations.

Drink companies and clothing manufacturers have until 12th November 2019 to prepare for the first elements of the alcohol legislation to be implemented. The advertising of alcohol products will be banned in cinemas except where films are for those over 18 or where cinemas have licensed premises. There will also be a ban prohibiting the advertising of alcohol on children’s clothing.

Minister for Health Simon Harris signed the order to commence 23 sections of the Public Health Alcohol Act, which was finally passed by the Oireachtas in September after almost 3 years going through the Seanad and Dáil.

“We know that we have a relationship with alcohol in this country that is not good, damages our health, harms our communities and harms many families”, he said. “The measures in this Bill will make a real difference to changing the culture of drinking in Ireland over a period of time.”

The bill will also include detailed labelling on alcohol products showing the ingredients, calories and health warnings about the link between alcohol and cancer and other diseases. The Department of Health will draft regulations to provide for cancer and other health warnings on labelling, but these then have to be referred to the European Commission for consideration of their potential impact as a barrier to trade.

Ireland will be the first country in the world to have cancer warnings on alcohol labelling if the controversial measure is accepted.

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