Ireland's drinking habits uncovered as Christmas parties hit full flow
With the festive season in full flow, Christmas parties and other social occasions will be raising a toast to celebrate the holidays.
Irish social gatherings so often see alcohol take a central role in meeting with friends and family, and concerns over the impact of drinking have been growing for some time.
Proposals to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol in shops have gained a great deal of traction in recent years, with plans already in place to introduce such measures in Ireland.
To discover more about Irish people’s alcohol consumption, iReach conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,001 people. 91% of respondents have consumed alcohol at some point in their lives.
Of those who have consumed alcohol, more than half (59%) began drinking before they were 18-years-old. This number is higher among males at 64% compared to 55% of females.
It is also interesting to note a generational difference here, with only 34% of those aged 55+ consuming alcohol before 18 almost doubling to 61% among 35-55-year olds and increasing again up to an enormous 70% of those aged 18-34.
The top cited reasons for drinking alcohol were listed as curiosity (50%), cultural normalisation (33%) and peer pressure (27%), with fear of missing out (18%) and accessibility (13%) completing the top five.
Additionally, 36% of those who have consumed alcohol binge drink, with binge drinking more prevalent among males (41%) than females (32%). 66% of respondents think that their alcohol consumption is of a normal level.
Only 20% say that the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in shops would make them buy less alcohol, with 44% believing that the Government should not interfere with the pricing of alcohol.
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