A CNN news story focusing upon the cost of underage drinking and the extent of youth access to alcohol includes insights from Paul Gruenewald, PhD. Dr. Gruenewald, the Scientific Director of the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, observes that the United States could deploy more proven policies to reduce the availability of alcohol in stores and the home to individuals under the age of 21.
“It is not in the industry’s interest to moderate underage use in any way; that is where their future profits lay,” said Dr. Gruenewald. “Demand is ensured by getting youth to start drinking as early in their lives as possible, providing constant demand throughout the life course,” said Gruenewald, who has researched the availability of alcohol since the late 1980s.
“Greater minimum legal drinking ages, higher beverage taxes, reductions in numbers and types of outlets selling alcohol, restrictions on days and hours of sale, and a host of other societal steps do work,” Gruenewald said. “Unfortunately US states do not choose these paths, but the paths are there.”
Alcohol beverage companies made an estimated $17.5 billion on underage drinking in 2016, study says.
June 11, 2021, By Sandee LaMotte, CNN https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/11/health/alcohol-sales-to-minors-wellness/index.html