Ireland pioneers alcohol cancer warnings and minimum prices

Ireland’s upper house last week passed a long-awaited bill introducing minimum alcohol prices and requiring warnings of alcohol’s cancer risks and the protection of children from marketing.

According to the bill passed on Friday drinks labels will also need to list their ingredients for the first time. Ads as well as labels will have to include warnings of the cancer risk.

To stop children being weaned onto alcohol brands, shops will be required to hide alcohol marketing behind a 1.5m-high screen.

The bill will return to the Dáil, the lower house, next year. The government first introduced the bill in December 2015 and has been the subject of fierce lobbying since.

Ireland is the second country in the world to pass laws to require alcohol is sold above a minimum price after Scotland became the first in November.

Only Canada’s Yukon has so far introduced cancer warnings, and that is in a trial. ■