Washington, DC — The Century Council wants parents across the country to make a New Year's Resolution to keep their teens safe and alcohol-free in 2004. The Council is providing tips to parents in an effort to prevent underage drinking and to highlight the strong influence that parents wield in their teens decisions to say no to alcohol. Last year, 2,902 youths under the age of 21 died in alcohol-related traffic fatalities, accounting for nearly 17% of all alcohol-related traffic fatalities on our nation's roads during 2002. These numbers do not include the countless injuries, and liquor-law violations related to underage consumption of alcohol. All of these tragic deaths, injuries, and violations are avoidable.
"Losing weight, exercising more, and adhering to the family budget are resolutions we have all made at one point or another and sometimes have had the willpower to keep. But there is one resolution parents should make that we must keep: doing your part to keep alcohol out of the hands of teens," said Susan Molinari, Chairman of The Century Council, funded by America's leading distillers.
In a recent survey commissioned by The Century Council, teens were asked, 'How do you and your friends get the alcohol that you drink?' 65% of the youth surveyed said they obtain the alcohol they drink from their own home or their friend's home, older siblings or older friends.
Molinari added, "Key to addressing the problem of underage drinking is having a sense for where youth obtain the alcohol they drink; given the results of our survey data, we encourage parents to get more involved. Fortunately, study after study consistently shows that parents have, overwhelmingly, the most significant influence over youths' decision not to drink at all or not to drink on occasion."
The Century Council recommends that parents take heed of the following basic tips, not only as a New Year's Resolution but throughout the entire year: Talk with your child about the dangers of underage drinking; Be a good role model; Disapprove of underage drinking; Supervise your child; Recognize problem behavior and seek help when necessary.
Based on the survey data stating that 65% of youth who drink obtain alcohol from their family and friends, The Century Council created a campaign that highlights the point of access to alcohol by underage youth and encourages parents to play a more active role in keeping alcohol out of the hands of our nation's youth. The key component to the campaign is a 30 second Public Service Announcement, buttons and informational cards that provide tips for parents on how to talk with their kids about alcohol that will be distributed at the point of purchase. The Century Council has distributed this public service announcement to television stations in 18 cities across the country and will continue to roll out the campaign in cities across the country throughout 2004.
Since The Council's inception in 1991, approximately 10 million pieces of point of sale items have been distributed free of charge to retailers and wholesalers nationwide. In fact, The Council's point of sale materials have been distributed in all 50 states. For more information about the program, log onto The Council's website at www.centurycouncil.org.
To download the "Tip Card for Parents," visit www.centurycouncil.org/lib/downloads/65pct_tipcard.html
The Century Council