Sally Casswell

Professor, School of Public Health

Every week Kiwis spend approximately $85 million on alcohol – and every weekend our emergency rooms are filled with people who have injured themselves while under the influence.

Social scientist Sally Casswell is hoping her research will help curb this alcohol-related harm.

After seeing the significant impact alcohol has on the health of millions, the Massey University professor knew she had to question the status quo.

Her research is focused on the use of alcohol, measures of alcohol related harm and ways of reducing harm caused by liquor, and has gained international and national attention. It’s a challenge laid down to change government policies on alcohol.

For instance she’s discovered that among 16 and 17 year old drinkers, 28 per cent of girls and 25 per cent of boys drink at least 8 standards alcoholic drinks in a typical drinking session. It’s one of her missions to reduce the exposure of young people to alcohol marketing.

Born in England, Sally studied psychology at Sheffield University in the UK and went on to complete her PhD in psychology in New Zealand. 

Today she’s in charge of Massey’s School of Public Health and the director of the SHORE (Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation) group.

She believes the nation’s drinking problem – also an issue in many countries throughout the world – could be controlled by increasing the price of alcohol, regulating alcohol advertising and sponsorship, and cutting back the hours that licensed premises (where alcohol is sold) are open – just to name a few.

Her research shows that implementing some of these simple measures would make huge changes to the overall health of society.