DISCUS

PARENTS AND ADULTS ARE THE KEY TO REDUCING UNDERAGE DRINKING -- Raising Taxes is not the Answer

September 9, 2003 08:00 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council today said it was pleased the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) underage drinking study “recognized the critical role parents and adults play in further reducing underage drinking” but denounced the call for increased taxes on alcohol saying, “research shows raising taxes would do little to reduce underage drinking and would severely impact the hospitality industry and responsible adult consumers.” Peter H. Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said, “We were pleased the NAS report underscored that parents and adults need to be the primary target of any campaign to reduce underage drinking. The distilled spirits industry has long held this view and has been providing educational materials for parents, educators and role models for over a decade.” Cressy noted the industry has been implementing and supporting many of the recommendations in the NAS report for decades. He cited as examples the programs of The Century Council, the distilled spirits industry’s not-for-profit organization which has spent more than $130 million over the last 12 years on community programs to reduce illegal, underage drinking. The Century Council’s award-winning community programs are being used by police departments in more than 42 states, more than 1,200 colleges across the country and all branches of the United States Armed Forces. Cressy said the industry would not support some recommendations including raising taxes as a means to reduce underage drinking. Cressy pointed to the fact that the NAS’ own report states that most youth obtain alcohol from adults, a finding mirrored in yesterday’s FTC report. “As both the NAS and FTC reports point out, most youth obtain alcohol from non-commercial outlets,” said Peter Cressy. “Therefore it makes no sense to further penalize responsible adult drinkers and the hospitality industry by raising taxes on spirits when more than half the purchase price already goes to taxes.” CONTACT: Frank Coleman or Lisa Hawkins Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

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