WASHINGTON, DC—The Century Council is extremely encouraged by today’s SAMHSA “Data Spotlight” which highlights that 94% of 12-14 year olds are not currently drinking alcohol. For twenty years, The Century Council, a national not-for-profit funded by distillers including Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Pernod Ricard USA; and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc., has created and implemented effective and proven programs to fight underage drinking. During this time period, the rate of past month consumption among 8th grade students has declined 45% proportionally from 1991 to 2010 and lifetime consumption has decreased 49% over this same time period. The Century Council is proud of its strong partnerships, programs, and research which are used by thousands of schools and community-based groups, and connecting with millions of parents and kids across the country.
Digging deeper into today’s “Spotlight,” among the small percentage of young people ages 12-14 who reported drinking in the past month (6%), the majority reported getting the alcohol they drink for free and from family and friends. In 2003, The Century Council identified family and friends as the leading source of alcohol for underage drinkers and took steps to reduce youth access to alcohol and stop underage drinking. Recognizing parents are the leading influence in their son and/or daughter’s decision to drink - or not to drink - alcohol, The Century Council created a national point-of-sale campaign to remind Americans that providing alcohol to minors is “unsafe, illegal, and irresponsible,” and also to reassure parents that they wield the power and influence to encourage their kids to say ‘no’ to underage drinking.
Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of the Century Council added, “While the most recently released national statistics on underage consumption continue to show record low levels, there is still more work to do. According to the NSDUH data from 2006 to 2009, the leading source of alcohol for youth is family and friends, including 22% taken from home or someone else’s home and another 16% of youth report their parents allowed them to have alcohol. Our message must be crystal clear: underage drinking is not okay at any age.”
The Century Council’s award-winning Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix program continues to encourage millions of students across the country to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking. In addition to distributing countless brochures for kids and parents, print and online media, and an informative website filled with “SuperStars” such as Olympians Apolo Anton Ohno and Julia Mancuso, Ask, Listen, Learn includes an educational fitness game that is currently being used in nearly 1,000 schools and community groups. The game was recently evaluated and the results showed that it is effective in raising awareness and knowledge of the dangers of drinking among middle school students.
The Century Council
The Century Council is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Pernod Ricard USA; and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia and chaired by Susan Molinari, The Century Council is a leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol. The Century Council develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns and promotes action through strategic partnerships. Established in 1991, The Century Council’s initiatives are highlighted on its website at www.centurycouncil.org.
Leslie Kimball, The Century Council
(202) 637-0077 or KimballL@CenturyCouncil.org