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Last Orders

Health minister Harris seeks to crackdown on alcohol promotions

The awarding of loyalty points and short term price promotions would be banned under the new regulations.

HEALTH MINISTER SIMON Harris has revealed plans to ban a range of alcohol promotions in a bid to reduce binge-drinking and to make alcohol less affordable for young people.

The minister said that are “real risks and harms” associated with alcohol so promotional activity should not be allowed.

The regulations would clamp down on a range of promotional activity including:

  • The awarding and use of loyalty card points or similar benefits on the purchase of alcohol.
  • The sale of alcohol at a reduced price or free of charge on the purchase of another product or service.
  • Price promotions on alcohol lasting three days or less.

Minister Harris has informed the European Commission about the measures. In order to ensure that the regulations don’t impinge on the wider European Union market the union’s  executive branch must approve the regulations before they can become law.

“Alcohol is not an ordinary grocery product. By restricting access to alcohol products through promotions or loyalty card programmes, the regulations align with the objectives of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018, which are to reduce alcohol consumption and reduce the harms caused by the misuse of alcohol,” Minister Harris said.

Alcohol is a drug and one which has real risks and harms associated with it and as such, should not be a subject of promotional activity.

Retailers will have a one-year lead in time following the signing of the regulations.

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