[CR] Week in Review

On Thursday, the 193 member nations of the World Health Organization agreed to adopt a global strategy to combat alcohol abuse. The strategy report includes recommendations to curb online alcohol advertising and to raise taxes on alcohol sales. “Reducing the impact of marketing, particularly on young people and adolescents, is an important consideration in reducing harmful use of alcohol,” the WHO said in a statement to the Associated Press. For more on the latest developments in domestic alcohol policies, check out these headlines.

Stories this week:

Deborah Luskin, a contributor with Vermont Public Radio, gave a fantastic commentary on the drinking age debate this week. Here’s an excerpt:

“I think it’s unreasonable to expect teens to abstain from alcohol until they are 21, and then for them suddenly to become responsible users without prior, supervised, experience. But children learn what they see, and often what they see is irresponsible adult behavior around alcohol. We can stand aside with our arms folded in disapproval as our teenagers cruise the back roads chugging and tossing beer cans out the window, and we can ‘tsk’ our disapproval at the binge drinking that is now campus ritual in college, but we could do a lot more.”

Read the rest of Luskin’s commentary at VPR News.

A few months ago, we pointed out a Washington Post story about “shot books,” scrapbook-like keepsakes that 21st-birthday drinkers create to commemorate their first night in the legal drinking population. The KY Post has more on this trend, with a video from WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln is one school that has reportedly been successful in its efforts to curb toxic drinking by underage students, and University of Iowa administrators want to replicate UNL’s accomplishment. This week, UNL officials traveled to Iowa City to meet with community leaders, student health professionals, and other UI officials to discuss the city’s new 21-only bar ordinance and other efforts to cut down on dangerous drinking.

In other news…

New research from the UT Southwestern Medical Center suggests that heavy drinking may increase the rate of pancreatic cancer among men. The study, which will be published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control, indicates that binge drinkers were 3.5 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, “regardless of when the binge episodes occurred.”

KDLH-TV reported this week that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has signed into law a series of broad reforms to the state’s DWI laws. The legislation, which will take effect on July 1, 2011, will mandate the installation of ignition interlocks in the vehicles of all DWI offenders convicted with a BAC of .16 or higher. Interlocks will also be used to monitor substance use by chronic DWI offenders who have 3 or more convictions in a 10-year period. Minnesota joins a group of 46 states who have implemented some sort of ignition interlock requirement.

As always, leave us a news tip in the comments if we missed something in this week’s update.

2 Responses to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with education and licensing. The World Health Organization shouldn’t encourage websites to block alcohol advertisement to those under 21 because that’s advertisement, not the product. Deborah Luskin is correct in that licensing is the solution to decrease irresponsible behavior surrounding alcohol. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln must not replicate what the Iowa City council did, that is passing an ageist law which does no good.

  2. Corey Says:

    Iowa City’s ordinance is like the jim crow laws of the south! Well, what if this ordinance or law applied on the basis of race? Well surely racism today is a no-no and it would be unpopular if applied on basis of race. Racial segregation was struck down in 1954. Hey, since New Mexico takes the toughest stance and takes drunk driving more seriously than most other states, then we could convince the legislator that the drinking age is ineffective at curbing drunk driving. New Mexican’s Know real solutions on how to get tough on drunk driving. Also, I believe we should eliminate the drinking age or not enforce it as much and instead use the enforcement power to crack down on drunk driving! There was no such thing as a drinking age with the exception of Wisconsin before Prohibition and even if alcohol was baned, then prohibiton was applied equally. The progressives and women christians temperence movement used hysteria and propaganda to enact prohibition which failed. I guess the people didn’t realize if a drinking age is similar to prohibiton,we wouldn’t have a drinking age. Drugs and alcohol are victimless crimes and harm nobody. Every crime needs a victim or near victim!