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Fighting for ‘share of throat’: the alcohol industry wants our youth!. Samantha Cukier, MBA, MA Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Dan Steeves, MAEd Capital District Health Authority Jennifer Heatley, BSc Atlantic Collaborative on Injury Prevention.
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Fighting for ‘share of throat’: the alcohol industry wants our youth! Samantha Cukier, MBA, MA Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Dan Steeves, MAEd Capital District Health Authority Jennifer Heatley, BSc Atlantic Collaborative on Injury Prevention APHA Conference | Washington, DC | Nov. 1, 2011
Presenter Disclosures Samantha Cukier (1)The following personal financial relationships with commercial interests relevant to this presentation existed during the past 12 months: No relationships to disclose
The Problem • Age of first drink: • Boys = 12.7 years • Girls = 13.1 years
The Problem (Cont’d) • Earlier initiation: • Increases the risk of brain damage, poor academic performance and social problems (Masten et al., 2008). • Increases the chances of developing alcohol-related problems later in life, e.g. over-drinking and alcohol dependence (Dawson et al., 2008) • More likely to do poorly in school, get injured, have unplanned and unprotected sex, get into a car with a drinking driver, get into fights, etc. (Poulin & McDonald, 2007).
What’s at stake? • Income from underage drinking: $22.5 billion = 17.5% of total consumer expenditures • Income from people who are dependent on alcohol = $36.3 billion = 28.3% of total consumer expenditures • Total income from underage drinking and dependency: • Conservative estimate: $48.3 billion = 37.5% of the total alcohol sales • More realistic estimate: $62.9 billion = 48.8% of all the alcohol sold in the US in 2001 (Foster et al., 2006)
What are the youth saying? • Youngest participants esp. girls (13 to 15) believed that they and their peers learn about alcohol through commercials – • Girls reported relating to the advertising as people that they “want to look like and be like” (The context of alcohol use among children & youth in Nova Scotia, 2009)
Normalization • Colourful Messages Campaign • Talk to your Kids about alcohol
Normalization (Cont’d) • Molson Coors Canada made a substantial donation to the “Save the Oval” campaign • "Nothing better than a cold beer after a skate, so I think it goes very well together," said Brian Harriman, vice-president for Molson Coors, said with a smile on Wednesday. (CBC News Posted: Mar 9, 2011)
Energy drink without alcohol and with alcohol. Photo courtesy of M Green (2010).
The Culture of Alcohol Use in NS • Alcohol use is normal, promoted and viewed widely. • “Big Alcohol” reigns supreme with little to no controls. • Alcohol is cheap, available, and has few social consequences for use. • Drunkenness is celebrated • Not using alcohol is not normal
Action • What have we done? • Brought forward the evidence • Spread these messages, showed the images • Involved various stakeholders • Engaged change champions • Told stories • What more can we do? • Be part of the change • Don’t accept the status quo • Question the integrity of contributors
Contact Samantha Cukier PhD Student Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Baltimore, MD email@example.com Dan Steeves Program Officer - Prevention & Health Promotion Capital District Health Authority Halifax, Nova Scotia Dan.Steeves@cdha.nshealth.ca