Scientific Article
A Restrictive Alcohol Social Supply Law Change is Associated with Less Supply to Friends Under 18 Years

Taisia Huckle (email:, Jose Romeo and Sally Casswell
Huckle, T. , Romeo, J. and Casswell, S. (2019), A restrictive alcohol social supply law change is associated with less supply to friends under 18 years. Drug Alcohol Rev.. doi:10.1111/dar.12993
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    Drug and Alcohol Review
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A Restrictive Alcohol Social Supply Law Change is Associated with Less Supply to Friends Under 18 Years

Research article


Introduction and Aims

This study aimed to assess the early impacts of a 2013 law change to restrict the social supply of alcohol to under 18s in New Zealand by assessing changes in social suppliers’ behaviour.

Design and Methods

National surveys of alcohol use aged 16–65 years were collected before (2013) and after (2015) the law change. Suppliers were asked: to whom they supplied alcohol, how often and how much; if the supplier thought the alcohol they provided would be shared; whether the supplier had permission to supply from parent/guardian, and if they supervised their supply. General estimating equation models were used to conduct analyses.


Sons and daughters were commonly supplied to, as were friends, but friends were supplied greater quantities on average [13 units of alcohol compared to four alcohol units for sons/daughters (at baseline)]. Following the law change, friends were less commonly supplied to (8% decrease), were supplied with fewer alcohol units (down from 13 to 11 units of alcohol) and there was greater supervision of social supply to friends (16% increase) (and to other relatives). However, the number of alcohol units supplied by parents increased from four to six alcohol units.

Discussion and Conclusions

There was evidence of some early reductions in social supply in relation to the law change, in particular where the legislation aimed to have effect; specifically, less supply to friends under 18 years. The study found no effect of the new law on parental supply. As quantities supplied are still very high, further policy restriction and public health interventions would be appropriate.

Source Website: Wiley Online Library