Unfortunately, education campaigns alone and the hope that individuals will spontaneously begin to act with more self-responsibility have not been shown to be effective strategies. Effective regulation is needed to turn the tide of New Zealand’s harmful drinking culture. The 5+ Solution is a set of policy directives which are a real solution to the national alcohol crisis:
End alcohol advertising and sponsorship, including use of digital platforms.
Add warnings of specific health harms to alcohol containers.
Increase excise tax on alcohol to decrease affordability.
Introduce a minimum price per standard drink to eliminate ultra-cheap alcohol.
Remove alcohol from supermarkets.
Reduce national maximum trading hours (10 am – 9 pm for takeaway alcohol, 10 am -1am for drinking at a bar).
Cap alcohol licence numbers.
4. Age of purchase
Return the legal age of purchase to 20+ years
5. Drink driving
Reduce adult legal driving limit from 0.05 to 0.02.
Increase random breath testing.
PLUS: Increase treatment opportunities for heavy drinkers
The 5+ Solution is a set of policy directives based on the internationally acclaimed, World Health Organisation sponsored, publication, “Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity” written by fifteen of the top alcohol and public health scientists in the world (Babor et al 2003). It has recently been further endorsed by a paper in the leading medical journal The Lancet (Anderson et al 2009).