Government action needed to curb alcohol harm

Thursday 29 Oct 2015 11:06 a.m.

The Global Alcohol Policy Conference took place in Edinburgh, Scotland where experts analysed how laws can change drinking habits. 

Massey University professor Sally Casswell attended the conference - she says marketing and pricing are huge influencers, and the Government should be taking a harder line.

She says the Government has a weak plan in place, mainly leaving the problems in the hands of local communities.

While acknowledging that alcohol can bring enjoyment to people, professor Casswell thinks policy can make a huge difference and lawmakers need to step up.

It's estimated that between 600 and 800 people in New Zealand die each year from alcohol-related causes.

Nearly half of the alcohol consumed in New Zealand is consumed in heavier drinking occasions, more than 8 drinks for men, and 6 for women.

A 2009 study estimated harmful alcohol use cost New Zealand $4.9 billion in the 2005/06 year.

Recently a committee chaired by Graeme Lowe recommended a ban on marketing and sponsorship for sporting events.

This was turned down by the Government.

Watch the video for the full segment.