On Monday 22 May, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed into law the Public Health (Alcohol) (Labelling) Regulations 2023 that will make Ireland the first country in the world to require alcoholic beverages to display health warnings that they could potentially cause cancer when they come into effect in 2026.
In response, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said:
“I commend Ireland in passing legislation requiring alcoholic beverages to display health warnings about the risk of cancer. Alcohol plays a causal role in 7 cancers, including 2 of the most common, breast and bowel. The World Health Organisation lists alcohol as a grade one carcinogen (the same as tobacco and asbestos), and this move is a pioneering step in providing consumers with the information they need to make healthy choices.
“I urge the UK government to follow Ireland’s lead and make good on their 2020 commitment to consult on alcohol (calorie) labelling without further hesitation, which I hope will inform a decision to press ahead with health warnings too.”