The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New actions to prevent underage drinking

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) has launched a report that looks to share best practice and inspire further actions to prevent underage drinking.

Actions to prevent underage drinking include responsible sales, preventing marketing to those underage, providing training and educational tools and creating partnerships to help make underage drinking socially unacceptable.

To help prevent those underage from seeing alcohol advertisements online, IARD members have put in place safeguards on their online marketing channels aimed at helping to ensure that their marketing is only directed at those adults who can lawfully buy their products. Safeguards are being strengthened through global partnerships with leading digital platforms.

There are also first ever industry-wide global standards aimed at enhancing transparency and preventing influencer marketing reaching those under the legal purchase age.

IARD also recently launched free online resources that support retailers , hospitality venues, and delivery platforms in their efforts to help ensure alcohol is not sold, served, or delivered to people underage or intoxicated.

The New Zealand Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC) is a member of the IARD.

“We are encouraged by the ongoing trend and decline in underage drinking. Children and those underage should not drink or have access to alcohol,” says NZABC Executive Director Virginia Nicholls.

“In New Zealand fewer young people under 18 are drinking alcohol and those who do are drinking less hazardously. However more work needs to be done to continue to accelerate these changes.”

According to the NZ Youth 2000 survey, an increasing proportion of secondary school students are choosing not to drink. The proportion of secondary students who have never drunk alcohol increased from 26% in 2007, to 45% in 2019.

Over time, young people are drinking less often. In the total student population, young people who used alcohol in the past month fell between 2007 and 2019 from 49% in 2007 to 34% in 2019.

“In the annual survey by NZABC which aims to understand New Zealanders views on how alcohol is perceived across a number of issues found that most of us agree that targeted education and support programmes will create a better understanding of responsible drinking”, says Nicholls.

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