February 8, 2006 07:00 PM
The Distilled Spirits Council and its member companies applaud the nation’s Drug Czar John Walters for pointing out the long-term decline in underage drinking and calling attention to the higher percentage of girls who are trying alcohol over boys, which the spirits industry has developed programs to address. Underage drinking by both boys and girls has steadily declined for a long period of time. According to the government-funded Monitoring the Future (Dec., 2005), “The use of alcoholic beverages has generally been in decline among American teens for the last several years, and that decline continued in all three grades (8th,10th, 12th) in 2005.” In addition, it shows that so-called binge drinking by 10th grade, 12th grade, and college females, over a long period of time, is flat or declining. The distillers agree that while progress has been made, any amount of underage drinking is too much and have supported initiatives throughout the decades to address all forms of alcohol abuse. The spirits industry’s responsibility foundation, The Century Council, recently developed and rolled out “Girl Talk,” a program to help mothers talk to their daughters about the risks of illegal, underage drinking. The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association is supporting the program through personal appearances at functions and schools, in print and online media, public service announcements and other integrated marketing initiatives. As Director Walters stated in his report, parents are the most important influence in their daughters’ decision regarding drinking or not drinking. In partnership with Nickelodeon, The Century Council also has developed “Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix,” an interactive program that helps parents have effective conversations about alcohol with their kids to prevent them from drinking, using a number of accessible resources including discussion booklets, public service announcements and an interactive website developed by Nickelodeon. The spirits industry will continue to partner with federal, state and community leaders to get these programs into the hands of parents across the country. CONTACT: Public Affairs Department Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:


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