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Health Coalition Aotearoa deeply frustrated over PM's icing alcohol advertising regulations

Tuesday 14 March 2023, 4:52AM

By Health Coalition Aotearoa

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Health Coalition Aotearoa is deeply frustrated by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ decision to delay work on regulating alcohol advertising until next year.

Experts in the field have been pushing for years for measures to control the virtually unrestricted marketing allowed for alcohol companies.

HCA Co-Chair Professor Boyd Swinburn says alcohol advertising contributes hugely to its normalisation and why alcohol harm is so widespread.

"This is an easily achievable, evidence-based policy to put the health and wellbeing of people in Aotearoa New Zealand ahead of harmful corporations. 

Professor Swinburn says the Prime Minister's justification for the move was indefensible and untrue. 

"Prime Minister Hipkins said the regulations would raise the cost of community participation in sport. But we've done the very same thing with removing tobacco advertising from sport in the past and it's completely viable. 

"We could easily make the cost up through an alcohol sale levy, and this would be just a drop in the ocean of total alcohol sales. This is a weak excuse not a policy barrier."