Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Household survey makes worrying reading

26 February, 2004

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has expressed alarm at the increase in drinking highlighted in the continuous household survey bulletin published today.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"The Household survey makes worrying reading. In the last 16 years alcohol consumption has steadily increased with one in three men and 1 in ten women now drinking in excess of sensible levels - a threefold increase.

"However there are signs that the campaign to cut the number of smokers is paying dividend with a real increase over the last 20 years in the numbers of people who have given up reaching 20%.

"The increase in the number of people with a long-standing illness and the high levels of people reporting limiting long-standing illness should send out a very stark warning.

"As a result of the 'Investing in Health' public health strategy put in place by former Health Minster Bairbre de Brún there are now resources in place to tackle alcohol and drug misuse, to reduce smoking and to tackle the social, economic and environmental determinants of ill health.

"We now need to see the commitments to implement the policy put in place by Bairbre de Brún across every department, throughout each agency, board and trust and at every layer of government." ENDS

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