HPA's Attitudes and Behaviour towards Alcohol Survey (ABAS) is an annual survey that monitors New Zealanders' behaviour and attitudes towards alcohol. This fact sheet reports provides information on the demographic profile of non-drinkers and their reasons for not drinking alcohol from the 2013 ABAS. Non-drinkers were defined as people who self-identified as non-drinkers or people who had not consumed alcohol during the previous 12 months.
The 2013 Attitudes and Behaviour towards Alcohol Survey (ABAS 2013) monitors changes in attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol. Respondents who had not been drinking alcohol were asked how long they have not been drinking, and their reasons for not drinking (multiple responses were possible).
Those who self-identified as non-drinkers or had not consumed alcohol during the previous 12 months were classed as "non-drinkers". Responses by all non-drinkers aged 15 years or over (n= 1,110) were compared by gender, ethnicity, age and annual household income. Statistically significant differences (p < .05) between groups are reported.
• Just over 1 in 4 respondents (28.5%) had not consumed alcohol during the previous 12 months. The majority had either never been drinkers or had stopped more than two years prior.
• There were higher proportions of non-drinkers in the youngest and oldest age groups, in Asian and Pacific ethnic groups, and among those with lower household incomes. These findings are consistent with other national surveys (Ministry of Health, 2014).
• The most commonly cited reason for not drinking was health, followed by being disinterested or not enjoying alcohol. Religious and family concerns were also frequently mentioned. Some non-drinkers were concerned about the wider social effects of alcohol, or had been put off by seeing alcohol-related harm.