New Zealand Medical Association calls to ban alcohol sales in supermarkets


Fraser Clarke

Selling alcohol in supermarkets normalises a dangerous drug and should be banned according to the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).

Alcohol abuse is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in New Zealand, with recent statistics showing that excessive consumption leads to between 600 and 800 deaths in the country annually. That figure is only likely to rise too, as mental health rates continue to soar, turning more people towards drink.

According to the NZMA more than half a million Kiwis are consuming alcohol in a hazardous way, and that is putting an increased strain on healthcare in the country, whilst also costing an estimated NZ$5bn (£2.81bn) each year.

Speaking about their demands NZMA Chairperson, Dr Kate Baddock, said: “Alcohol contributes to domestic violence, many cancers, and car accidents.

“If you are putting alcohol next to your bread and milk, you are essentially saying having alcohol is the same as having bread and milk on a daily basis.”

Her comments were echoed by Nicki Jackson, director of Alcohol Healthwatch, who told ‘The Guardian’: “When wine came into our supermarkets in 1989 you can see this exponential growth in wine consumption, we are Anglo-Saxon and you can’t change cultures overnight, and having alcohol widely available did not change our culture - it harmed it.”

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