NZ Herald 20 May 2015
Top New Zealand doctors are calling for the drinking age to be raised to 20 and booze sponsorship banned from public events in a push to reduce alcohol-related harm.
The New Zealand Medical Association released its Reducing Alcohol-Related Harm policy briefing today.
It recommends a raft of changes including hiking the drinking age, phasing out alcohol marketing and sponsorship at sporting and cultural events, stepping up screening and treatment services, introducing better education initiatives and raising alcohol taxes.
NZMA chairman Dr Stephen Child said more than half a million New Zealanders consumed alcohol in a harmful way – and doctors saw the effect in hospitals and waiting rooms every day.
Family First NZ said politicians should not be turning a blind eye to calls by the NZMA to raise the drinking age.
“Health boards, health professionals, police, family groups, addiction experts, the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser, leading scientists, and the general public – including young people – have all been shouting to politicians to raise the drinking age to 20 in order to protect young people and to save lives,” said Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The polls confirm that politicians are out of touch with grassroots New Zealanders on this issue. And now the medical profession is calling the politicians out of touch with reality,” he said.