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Teenagers Drink $140 million worth of Alcohol

Teenagers Drink $140 million worth of Alcohol

Teenagers between 14 and 17 drink $140 million worth of alcohol per year, or $2.7 million per week, as calculated by the Group Against Liquor Advertising, said Dr Viola Palmer, Chairperson.

$60 million of this was in beer, $56 million in spirits, $19 million in RTD (Ready-to drink), and about $4 million in wine.

This equals an average weekly consumption per teenager of :

· 5 (330ml) cans of beer,
· almost a fifth of a bottle of spirits
· 1 RTD (330ml) and
· one glass of wine.

This represents $12.40 per week

The calculation was made using research done by the Alcohol and Public Health Research Unit at Auckland Medical School, and figures from Statistics NZ. The figures are conservative, taking the cheapest prices of drinks at $1 per can for beer and $28 for spirits.

About three quarters of teenagers are drinkers. The average weekly consumption per drinking teenager is:

· 7 (330 ml) cans of beer
· almost a quarter of a bottle of spirits
· one and a half RTD (330 ml) and
· 105 ml of wine.

These figures simply highlight what we already know about teenage drinking. Many teenage problems of crime, hooliganism, "accidents", unplanned pregnancies, drunk driving and suicide can be traced back to excessive drinking.

We know that teenagers will always want to have fun. We do not need to reinforce the irresponsible attitude that getting drunk is the way to do this. Pushing alcohol at them by advertising and sponsorship encourages drinking.

"Teenagers don’t grow up in a vacuum" said Dr Palmer, "they grow up in an environment of widespread uncontrolled access to alcohol, designer drinks, clever advertising, sponsorship and marketing. It is time we stopped the culture of blame against teenagers, and controlled the giants who profit from the $140 million spent."

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