Opposition to drink sponsorship ban


Just four in ten Irish adults support banning alcohol sponsorship of sports while six out of ten support the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing , a new survey has found.

A lack of knowledge about maximum drink recommendations was shown in the survey published by the Health Research Board (HRB) today.

Just ten per cent of adults knew the recommended maximum number of standard alcoholic drinks for men was 21 or 14 for women or could tell how many units of alcohol were in different drinks. A standard drink is defined as having 10 grams of alcohol, which is equivalent to a pub measure of spirits, a small 100mls glass wine or half a pint of lager.

The survey of 1,020 adults was conducted in May by Ipsos/MRBI and was weighted to reflect the population in gender, age and location.

The report shows younger people are more price sensitive than the rest of the population when it comes to alcohol.

The findings indicate that those aged 18 to 24 years of age “wish to have a very liberal approach to alcohol and to have very cheap alcohol,” said Dr Jean Long of the HRB.

Half of young people who buy alcohol in supermarkets would buy more if prices dropped compared to 25 per cent overall. Two thirds (65 per cent) of younger people would buy more alcohol when it is on special offer or reduced compared with less than half (45 per cent) of the overall population.

Just a third of this age group supported minimum pricing compared with two-thirds of those aged 35 to 64 years of age.

Overall the survey found that Irish people were less responsive to price than in elsewhere. It would take a price increase of 25 per cent to get two thirds of people to purchase less alcohol in supermarkets. With a 50 per cent increase in the supermarket drink prices a quarter of people would still not change their behaviour.

“It is possible that we would be prepared to pay more for alcohol than in the UK because we are heavier drinkers,” Dr Long said.

The finding on the lack of support for alcohol sponsorship would be the “one disappointing finding” for the Government, Dr Long said. The Department of Health asked the HRB to get public opinion on measures in the national substance misuse strategy.

A ban on alcohol industry sponsoring sporting and music events was supported by 42 per cent and 37 per cent of people. More than half of men and those aged under 44 were least likely to support the ban.