Council moves to curb alcohol advertising after WHO declaration

By Maurice Garvey

ON MONDAY night (July 25), Dublin City Council passed a motion that will curtail alcohol industry activities in the area of public health. The motion which was proposed by Councillor Gary Gannon is a response to the 2001 World Health Organisation’s Stockholm Declaration on Young People and Alcohol which states that public health policies concerning alcohol need to be formulated by public health interests, without interference from commercial interests.

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The motion means that Dublin City Council will now prohibit the granting of advertising space and the use of Dublin City Council venues for the promotion of alcohol-related health campaigns which are funded by drinks companies.

Cllr Gannon said: “I proposed this motion in response to the growing trend of alcohol companies getting involved in health promotion.

"It’s like cigarette companies getting involved in promoting safe smoking. We saw it last year with Diageo’s controversial Stop Out of Control Drinking Campaign.

"Thankfully that initiative collapsed following a massive outcry by politicians and public health professionals. Then there’s the ongoing existence of the Drinkaware organisation which was set-up and is fully funded by the drinks industry.”

Cllr Gannon called on Minister for Health, Simon Harris “to take on the massive issue of alcohol abuse in this country and in particular to tackle alcohol sponsorship in sport which is clearly about targeting young people as the next generation of drinkers.”

The motion reads: “The members of this City Council call on DCC to prohibit the granting of advertising space and the use of Dublin City Council venues for the promotion of any alcohol-related health campaigns which are funded by commercial interests involved in the sale of alcohol.”

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