Ireland has passed a landmark bill to reduce excessive alcohol consumption in the country.
The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will set restrictions on advertising and placement of alcoholic products in stores, and will introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol, as well as cancer warning labels on containers, CNN reports.
On Wednesday, the day the legislation passed, Health Minister Simon Harris said: "For the very first time in our history we are legislating for alcohol as it affects our health and it is right and proper that we do that.”
We did it! For the first time in our history, we are introducing a public health law for alcohol. A great partnership between the Oireachtas & public health advocates. Honoured to work with colleagues to steer this through the Dáil. A good day for public health in Ireland— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) October 3, 2018
"We know we have a relationship with alcohol in this country that is not good, that damages our health, that harms our community. This will help to change the culture of drinking in Ireland over a period of time," he said.
Excessive consumption of alcohol contributes to domestic violence, assaults, suicide, and drunken driving deaths.
According to a 2016 report from Ireland’s Health Research board, three deaths a day in Ireland are caused by alcohol.
Alcohol Action Ireland, an independent national charity for alcohol-related issues, issued a statement on the new legislation, saying: "Soon, Ireland will commence the implementation of the Bill; the measures as designed, when implemented coherently and cohesively, and in a timely manner, will make a significant difference, over time, to reducing Ireland's excessive alcohol consumption, altering our drinking culture and ultimately protect our children.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also supported the bill. In a Twitter post on Wednesday, he wrote: "Decision made today will be remembered by history and will save countless lives."