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Bill to lower drinking age welcomed

Bill to lower drinking age welcomed

The decision by parliament to send the Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill to a select committee has been welcomed by the Institute of Environmental Health. “This bill will provide a much needed opportunity to debate the benefits of various harm reduction strategies, including raising the drinking age to 20 years,” said Institute President Mike Orchard.

The dangers of binge drinking are well known and include an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, injury and being a subject of violence.

“Apart from the personal harm caused by binge drinking there are also the wider affects on community safety and well-being presented by anti-social behaviour,” comments Mike Orchard.

The Institute believes there is a need for individuals, communities and law makers to work together to change New Zealand’s drinking culture. Although there is no simple or even single answer we should be prepared to examine the benefits of strategies such as returning the drinking age to 20 years.

ENDS

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