- Number crunchers offer perspective on our community (7/9/20)
- Nebraskans love their fireworks (6/30/20)
- Fake news? You ain't seen nothin' yet (6/26/20)
- Time to put more effort into reducing demand for water (6/16/20)
- Mental health may be biggest challenge of COVID-19 lockdown (5/21/20)
- Arts, music scene alive and well; just needs an audience (5/14/20)
- Hospital Week honors front-line healthcare workers (5/12/20)
Whatever the source, message on underage drinking the right one
It's ironic that it's up to the tobacco companies to fight smoking and the beer distributors to fight drinking, but if that's what it takes, so be it.
No one, in fact, has a greater stake in seeing to it that parents and other adults remember that it's illegal and dangerous to buy alcohol for minors or provide it to them, no matter what the occasion.
Nebraska first lady Sally Ganem joined Hobert Rupe, director of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission and officials of the Associated Beverage Distributors of Nebraska for a media event in Lincoln aimed at getting that point across through the "Prevent, Don't Provide," campaign for liquor, convenience and grocery stores.
"Buying alcohol for young people sends a message that underage drinking is acceptable and it reinforces the perception that drinking is a rite of passage, rather than a dangerous choice," Ganem said. "Nationally, teens who drink say they are getting alcohol from adults. We need more people to set an example at home and to help young people make better, safer choices. Parents have an important role to play in changing the culture of underage drinking. Our children need to know without a doubt that underage drinking is not acceptable. Efforts like this help reinforce that message. I want to thank Nebraska distributors and retailers for being part of the effort to stem underage drinking in Nebraska."
Of course, the liquor companies are open to the criticism that they do their best to make drinking look glamorous and sexy to young people -- they have yet to find a way to cut off the message for people under 21. Perhaps a sober stint on cleanup duty after a fraternity kegger would help do the trick.
Still, they are advertising a legal product in a free-market society. The holiday season, unfortunately, can see a lot of alcohol-related problems, from driving while intoxicated to fights and domestic disputes, for both legal age drinkers and minors.
Let's hope the latest campaign, which uses window signs, case cards, table talkers, corner clings and cooler stickers, will be a good reminder to consumers and retailers of their legal and ethical responsibilities.