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Alcohol Cheaper than Water in New Zealand

N.Z. researchers have found that a drink of easily found bargain priced wine is, on average, less than the price of a 250ml bottle of water.

In New Zealand, you can get a glass of inexpensive wine for 62 cents, but if it’s a bottle of water you’re after, you’ll have to pony up a bit more – 67 cents, on average.

Public Health researchers at Otago University performed the pricing study, and they say that having alcohol available at very low prices isn’t necessarily the best way to encourage responsible drinking and minimize the ills of binge drinking.

Otago U. Associate Professor Nick Wilson, commented, saying, “Our analysis suggests alcohol is now probably the cheapest recreational drug in New Zealand and has become increasingly affordable, at the same time as concern about binge drinking culture has grown. International scientific evidence strongly indicates that cheap alcohol is a factor in promoting binge drinking by young people, and in increasing the overall size of the health and social harm from alcohol misuse.”

The researchers say that overproduction of domestic wine has led to some very low prices. They recommend minimum pricing on certain drinks, such as wine and alcohol-pops, as an effective way for government policy makers to reduce the harms of binge drinking on society at large.

The full research results have been published in the current edition of The New Zealand Medical Journal.

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