Alcohol-related attitudes in 2010, 2012, and 2014

The Health and Lifestyles Survey (HLS) is a cross-sectional survey conducted every two years with a nationally-representative sample of New Zealand adults (aged 15 years and over). This report uses data from the 2010, 2012, and 2014 HLS to examine time trends in people’s attitudes and experiences relating to the availability and promotion of alcohol. It also uses the 2014 HLS data to assess differences in these alcohol-related attitudes by socio-demographic factors and drinking behaviour.

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Methodology

Questionnaire

The 2010 (N = 1740), 2012 (N = 2672), and 2014 (N = 2594) HLS assessed alcohol-related attitudes and experiences in relation to:

1. The availability of alcohol

1.1 Support for reducing the hours when alcohol can be sold

1.2 Perceptions of alcohol outlet density

2. Alcohol advertising and promotion

2.1 Support for increasing restrictions on alcohol advertising or promotion that young people might be exposed to

2.2 Support for banning alcohol-related sponsorship of events young people might attend

2.3 Recent exposure to alcohol advertising and promotion

Data analysis

Weighted proportions (according to Census data) were first calculated to estimate the frequency of a particular alcohol-related attitude among New Zealand adults. Differences across time and between socio-demographic groups were then assessed with logistic regression. Unadjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals are reported.

Key Results

Alcohol availability

Overall (average across 2010, 2012, and 2014), 62% of New Zealand adults supported reducing the hours when alcohol can be sold. Support for this regulatory change decreased between 2010 and 2012 but did not change further in 2014. Females, older adults, and non-drinkers were more likely to support this regulation.

Across 2012 and 2014 (question wording changes did not allow for inclusion of the 2010 data), 39% of New Zealand adults believed there were too many places where alcohol could be purchased in their local area. Māori and Pacific people and people living in high deprivation neighbourhoods were more likely to hold this view, as were females, older adults, and non-drinkers.

Alcohol advertising and promotion

Overall, 80% of New Zealand adults supported increasing restrictions on alcohol advertising or promotion that is seen or heard by young people. Support for this regulatory change was consistently high across the three survey years, with females, older adults, and non-drinkers more likely to endorse it.

Just over two-thirds (66%) of New Zealand adults supported banning alcohol-related sponsorship of events that young people might attend. Support for this regulatory change increased between 2010 and 2012, but decreased in 2014. In addition to greater support among females, older adults, and non-drinkers, Asian people and people living in high deprivation neighbourhoods were more likely to support this regulatory change.

A high proportion (94%) of New Zealand adults reported seeing alcohol-related advertising or promotion in at least one location in the previous three months. The three most common locations for being exposed to alcohol advertising or promotions were on television (66%), at the supermarket (65%), and in newspapers or magazines (53%). Males and 18 to 24-year-olds were more likely to see alcohol advertising on television, while people who drank alcohol in the last month were more likely to have seen such advertising at the supermarket and in newspapers or magazines.

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