New Zealand’s medical authority took a brave step recently when announced that alcohol is not going to be sold in supermarkets anymore because it normalizes a dangerous drug. Since 1990, beer and wine have been available in the supermarkets, but the logic behind this new announcement is that putting the alcohol next to groceries and food makes it easy for the customers not to think too much about the decision they are making.
The New Zealand Medical Association believes that this ban will help reduce the heavy consumption of alcohol, since people find buying alcohol extremely cheap and easy being sold at every supermarket near bread, milk and other foods. The association also drew attention to the dangerous way New Zealanders consume alcohol, with emergency rooms filled every Friday and Saturday with admissions that are related to alcohol consumption.
The chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, Kate Baddock, suggests that alcohol use is far more dangerous than marijuana, heroin or methamphetamine, because it is cheaper, more available to people, it is also addictive and a psychotropic drug. Baddock also stated that the consequences of consuming alcohol in large quantities are, in many cases, life-threatening: domestic violence, car accidents or even some types of cancers.
Moreover, she also explained why is it sometimes difficult for people to try to stay sober when alcohol is so easily found in every supermarket, near everyday foods; this placement says that alcohol consumption is basically the same as consuming bread or milk on a daily basis.
A professor of public health and social research from Massey University, Sally Casswell, also agrees with this banning policy, mainly because it has a tremendous influence on younger people. He states that in New Zealand children are usually exposed to alcohol and alcohol marketing on 85% of their visits to supermarkets. Casswell encourages selling alcohol only in specialized stores that follow strict regulations, like it happens in Norway.