Bobby Smyth on alcohol importation

Hi all,

At the last meeting, I mentioned that Ireland had a particularly low rate of unrecorded alcohol consumption (i.e. alcohol which is home brewed or imported from abroad, especially Northern Ireland). This is important as the risk of greater cross border purchasing of alcohol will be trotted out as a reason for opposing minimum pricing. For our argument, it is useful to rebut this by stating categorically that we have very low rates of unrecorded consumption (i.e. imported alcohol) compared to other European countries, or worldwide, despite having relatively high alcohol taxes.

I attach a paper which confirms this fact. Unrecorded consumption in 2005 accounted for 6.9% of the alcohol consumed in Ireland. This was about half of the European average of 12.1%. For further comparison, in Canada it was 20.2% and in USA it was 10.2%. The worldwide average is 27.9%. Of 22 Western European countries, only 5 have a lower proportion of unrecorded consumption…..

Dr Bobby Smyth MRCPsych

Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Addiction Service

Bridge House

Cherry Orchard Hospital

Dublin 10

Wrike – Project Management