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17 Aug 2022

Minimum alcohol unit pricing will 'save lives' - IMO President

Minimum alcohol unit pricing will 'save lives' - IMO President

The introduction of a minimum charge for alcohol will save lives according to the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) who have strongly welcomed the measure. 

IMO President Dr Ina Kelly said the measure which comes into affect on January 4, is "a really important public health intervention to help in the ongoing battle with alcohol misuse". 

She said for many years the IMO has been advocating health measures to reduce alcohol consumption and binge drinking, particularly among young people. 

"Alcohol is directly associated with over 60 acute and chronic conditions ranging from accidents and assaults, to mental health problems and suicide, cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis and certain cancers including cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, bowel and breast cancer in women," Dr Kelly said. 

"Research shows that there is a direct correlation between the price of alcohol, alcohol consumption and alcohol related deaths," Dr Kelly said. 

She said it is known from the experience in Scotland and Canada that minimum unit alcohol pricing targets the heaviest drinkers of cheap alcohol, "that are most likely to suffer harm". 

"Minimum unit pricing will help to reduce the harmful level of alcohol consumption and related harm," Dr Kelly said. 

"I have no doubt that minimum unit pricing will save lives," she added. 

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