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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

U.S. Surgeon General: Stop Marketing Alcohol to College Students

Acting U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu has issued a call to brewers, winemakers and distillers to halt alcohol advertising in college publications and sponsorship of college events. Surgeon General Moritsugu also proposed expanding educational initiatives to curb underage drinking.

The major issue for colleges, students and the businesses that sell alcohol near campuses is that, with the 21 year old drinking age, most students do not become "legal" until their senior year in college.

The Surgeon General's call was made as part of the release of a new report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which said there are 11 million underage drinkers in the U.S.

It's highly doubtful that eliminating campus alcohol ads will really have any impact on student drinking habits. The fact of the matter is that at 18 years old men and women in this country are considered to be adults in every single way except for the right to have a drink. Raising the drinking age to 21 was supposed to be a magical solution to a large number of real and perceived ills in the United States. The folks who backed Prohibition sold the same bill of good to Americans at that time.

The reality is that the Prohibition now being inflicted upon 18, 19 and 20 year old Americans is meeting with much of the same contempt as was given to the Volstead Act. About the only thing that has been accomplished is that it has turned a group of otherwise law abiding young Americans into criminals for doing nothing more than drinking a beer.

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