Source:   Irish Times
Contact:     14 Aug 1997

 Group calls for study of youth drinking 
By Marie O'Halloran 

The National Youth Council of Ireland has called on the
Department of Health to conduct a full study and investigation
of the consumption of alcohol, especially alcopops, by young
people.

The NYCI said the restrictions on the advertisement and sale
 of alcopops should be accompanied by greater Government
support for education campaigns about the use and abuse of
 alcohol. 

 "While we strongly suspect that alcopops are creating
 problems with alcohol abuse among young people, some
 questions surrounding them must be answered definitively," said
 Ms Jillian Hassett, president of the NYCI. 

 "The extent of consumption of alcopops among young people
 needs to be properly ascertained. We also need to know who
 is drinking alcopops, in what quantities they are being drunk
 and where they are being bought."

 The Minister of State for Enterprise, Mr Tom Kitt, said last
 week he planned to introduce a code of practice to prevent the
 marketing of the beverages to underage drinkers.

 In addition a number of supermarket chains have decided to
 stop selling alcopops, the alcohol drinks with a sweet taste and
 "youthoriented packaging". RTE has also decided that it will
 no longer carry alcopop advertisements.

These restrictions in Ireland follow a crackdown on alcopop
sales by the British government last month. 

The NYCI's press officer, Mr Eamonn Waters, said that once
the drug problem in Ireland came to the fore people no longer
looked on alcohol as such a serious problem. Alcohol was now
back on the agenda and a succession of Government Ministers
had expressed their concern.

 Copyright: The Irish Times