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Buying alcohol for under 18s is not the best

8 July 2003 Media release

Buying alcohol for under 18s is not the best for teenagers

Associate Health Minister and Progressive leader Jim Anderton today launched the ‘Think- before you buy Under 18s alcohol’ campaign for the Wellington region.

“The message is clear – Buying alcohol for under 18s is not doing our young people any favours. Teens who have been drinking heavily are over represented in incidents such as car crashes, assaults, rapes, and many other forms of misadventure. While some can be responsible with alcohol, many can’t, and many unfortunately become victims.

“Encouraging responsible attitudes to alcohol for New Zealanders of all ages is a priority of this coalition government, and the Ministerial Action Group has an action plan containing 32 points which includes measures to reduce alcohol abuse. We are still collecting information on the effects of lowering the drinking age, but whatever the drinking age is, we need to work to keep those below it from accessing alcohol.

“In 1998, about 15 per cent of young women aged 14-17 drank four or more drinks in one sitting at least once a week. Now 28 per cent of young women are drinking more than four drinks at a time at least once a week. This is girls under 17! Drinking by young men is at even higher levels.

“This under 18 campaign is an initiative of the Wellington Liquor Liaison Group focused on reducing alcohol related harm, and I am pleased to see they are promoting the responsible enforcement of the current laws,” said Jim Anderton.

The Wellington Liquor Liaison Group is a multi agency and industry group focused on reducing alcohol related harm. The group comprises Wellington Police, the Hospitality Association of New Zealand, Wellington City Council’s Liquor Licensing division, the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand, Beer Wines and Spirits Association of New Zealand, Regional Public Health and ACC.

“I have Chaired the Ministerial Action Group on Drugs and Alcohol for almost a year now and the major issues are young people drinking alcohol, and the growing use of methamphetamines. Methamphetamine is pure evil and can have serious and permanent, serious physical and psychological effects on individuals while creating havoc in families, and communities,” said Jim Anderton.

ENDS

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