Ireland is the first country in the world to issue comprehensive health warnings on alcohol products. The labels will contain information not only about the number of calories and the amount of alcohol, but also about drinking during pregnancy and risks of liver problems and cancer.
Consumers are also directed to a website with information about the influence of alcohol on health. Irish media previously wrote that on the labels come the texts “alcohol consumption leads to liver disease” and “there is a direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers”, warnings similar to those on the packaging of tobacco products.
Ireland already has regulations on the sharing of health information on the packaging of other food and drink products. The government’s idea is that thanks to the labels, consumers will also be better able to make informed decisions about their alcohol consumption.
The adapted packaging will only be mandatory from May 22, 2026 so that affected companies have enough time to prepare, according to the government. The plans were signed by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly on Monday.
” I look forward to other countries following our example, ” the minister said.
The government points out that according to the annual health surveys, many Irish people are not aware of the risks of alcohol consumption. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3 million deaths are attributable to harmful alcohol consumption each year. That amounts to 5.3 percent of all deaths.