Most NZers would rather give up alcohol than sex - poll

File photo / Herald on Sunday
File photo / Herald on Sunday

Most New Zealanders would rather give up alcohol than forgo sex, but a fifth of women and a 10th of men would rather have a drink than a romp in the sack, according to a new poll.

The Research New Zealand survey found that while 73 per cent of people would consider giving up alcohol for more than a month, 92 per cent of men and 80 per cent of women of women would rather have sex than a drink.

Some 4 per cent said they would rather give up all their friends than abstain from alcohol, while 5 per cent would prefer to forgo a rested night's sleep.

People were most likely to consider giving up cigarettes and online social networking in order to keep drinking, the poll found.

But priorities varied by age, with young people aged 15 to 34 valuing sex and their cellphones much more than people over 55.

The questions on alcohol were added to Research New Zealand's regular monthly survey of 500 people to show support for the Drug Foundation's FebFast campaign, which encourages people to abstain from alcohol for the month of February.

Campaign coordinator Catherine Milburn said the poll findings were "an eye opener".

"Amazingly, some people would rather stop seeing their friends or give up sex, sleep, their cellphones, the internet and even their cars before knocking off the booze," she said.

"They're in the minority, though - most people put their mates ahead of alcohol and still value a good night's sleep, a roll in the hay, and time in front of the telly or on the internet"

Ms Milburn added that it was "really encouraging" that more than seven in ten New Zealanders would consider giving up alcohol for more than a month.

She said the FebFast campaign was fortunately not asking people to forgo their favourite past-times, but to just "press pause on their drinking".

"For some people, having a break from alcohol might actually give them more time - and inclination - for some of these other activities."

A number of well-known New Zealanders have endorsed the event, including MPs Jackie Blue and Iain Lees-Galloway, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and journalists Mike McRoberts and his wife Paula Penfold.

- NZPA

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