Strong laws can support young people to be alcohol-free
Alcohol laws are very important in preventing and reducing alcohol harm to young people. Here are some policy measures that support young people to be alcohol-free.
INCREASING THE PRICE OF ALCOHOL
One of the most important policies to protect young people is to increase the price of alcohol.
Many young people are said to be price sensitive - this means that they respond more to changes in the price of alcohol. If the price goes up, they may reduce their purchasing the most. This is usually because they have limited amounts of money to buy alcohol.
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RESTRICTING ALCOHOL ADVERTISING AND SPONSORSHIP
Young people and those with addictions are particularly vulnerable to alcohol advertising. Exposure to alcohol advertising is linked with taking up drinking earlier and drinking larger amounts. Advertising also makes it more difficult for people wishing to quit or cut back their drinking and prevents health promotion messages from being more effective.
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INCREASING THE MINIMUM LEGAL PURCHASE AGE
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REDUCING AVAILABILITY OF ALCOHOL IN THE COMMUNITY
The more alcohol outlets in an area, the more hazardous drinking occurs and therefore more harm. A high number of places that sell alcohol is linked to heavy drinking among adolescents. In New Zealand, In New Zealand, it has been found that there are more places that sell alcohol in low income communities . It has also been shown that young Māori and Pacific males (i.e. 15-24 years) and young European females are most affected by living in communities with a high number of places that sell alcohol.
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To read how laws are developed and enacted in New Zealand, please visit the Parliament website.