The 5+ Solution

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The 5+ Solution

Effective regulation

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:

1. Marketing

End alcohol advertising and sponsorship, including use of digital platforms.

Add warnings of specific health harms to alcohol containers.

2. Price

Increase excise tax on alcohol to decrease affordability.

Introduce a minimum price per standard drink to eliminate ultra-cheap alcohol.

3. Accessibility

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).