'Alcohol shouldn't be a normal part of your life' – calls to ban alcohol sales in supermarkets

The New Zealand Medical Associations says it's pushing for a ban on alcohol sales in supermarkets because it's "dangerous" and causing "harm to ordinary people".

The New Zealand Medical Association says the sales of alcohol at supermarkets is "dangerous". Source: Breakfast

Speaking to TVNZ1's Breakfast today, the association's chairwoman Dr Kate Baddock says since alcohol was allowed to be sold in supermarkets nearly 30 years ago the consumption of alcohol has risen.

"We drink more. Alcohol is cheaper. Its availability has spread. There is greater and greater exposure to alcohol."

Dr Baddock says the dangers of alcohol lies in the fact it causes numerous cancers as well as contributing to social issues such as domestic violence.

"It's right beside the milk, it's right beside the bread. It makes it a part of everyday living and that's what makes it dangerous.

"Alcohol shouldn't be a normal part of your life."

She says banning alcohol in supermarkets would mean liquor isn't "right in the face" of those who are at risk of alcohol harm making it easier for them to say no to purchasing it.

Prime Minister Bill English said he believes a ban on alcohol sales in supermarkets is going a "step too far".

"Over the weekend hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders enjoyed a social drink with their friends and getting that sensibly is just part of our way of life," Mr English said.

Dr Baddock says she believes you can still enjoy a weekend of drinking without having alcohol sold in supermarkets.