IPH response to DSD consultation on proposed changes to the law regulating sale and supply of alcohol
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This consultation was intended to test public opinion on proposed changes to the law regulating the sale of alcohol in Northern Ireland. 

The proposed changes relate to 

– regulating the sale of alcohol in supermarkets and off-sales premises 

– regulating the sale of alcohol in pubs and other on-sales premises 

– regulating private member clubs 

– codes of practice Key points from IPH response 

– IPH welcomes the opportunity to submit our views on this review of regulations related to the sale and supply of alcohol in Northern Ireland. IPH notes that the reduction of alcohol-related harm is a stated aim of the review.

– International evidence clearly supports the role of regulation of the sale and supply of alcohol in reducing alcohol consumption and in reducing alcohol-related harm. 

– The consultation document does not present any meaningful estimation of the scale or nature of potential positive or negative effects on alcohol-related harm arising from the proposed changes. On this basis, IPH recommends that a Health Impact Assessment should be conducted on the proposed regulations. 

– IPH shares the concerns raised in respect of increases in the number of people drinking at home and the availability of large volumes of low cost alcohol in supermarkets. In this regard, we welcome the proposals to enhance the regulation of sale of alcohol in mixed trading premises by more stringent structural separation measures and restricted advertising. 

– IPH wishes to emphasise the importance of the work underway to explore the introduction of minimum unit pricing of alcohol on the island of Ireland as this measure will be significant in enhancing the proposals on regulating sale of alcohol in mixed trading premises 

– In light of evidence of increased alcohol consumption and harm associated with increased hours and days of sale of alcohol, IPH does not support the proposal to introduce additional late opening hours or extended drinking up time.

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