ABLE says alcohol packaging targets children
Source: ABC News 7
By Will Hutchison, Reporter
April 19th 2016
A growing number of parents are afraid that alcohol companies are increasingly targeting their kids.
There’s a recent trend of alcoholic drinks that look and taste like soda and juice. They have parents worried that their kids are in danger of encountering them at an earlier age. A representative from the ABLE Commission spoke to the Wichita Mountain Prevention Network about that very idea.
The main concerns they discussed revolved around the packaging of alcohol. Parents are terrified that the new soda-like alcoholic drinks will make the beverages look much more appealing and familiar to children who see them.
Every company wants to make money and companies know they will do exactly that if people already recognize their products when they turn 21, but the idea of alcohol creeping into the lives of their little ones before they are legal does not sit well with parents in the community.
“I have children, so it’s scary. I don’t want anyone’s kids to be affected by that and I don’t want anyone’s kids to be put in a place where alcohol becomes so familiar in the packaging that they choose that,” said Linda Griffith-Lambert, the chair of the Lawton Fort Sill Community Coalition.
The Lawton Fort Sill Community Coalition is a group that is fighting to put an end to underage drinking. Griffith-Lambert says one simple thing could be done to keep their kids safe.
“I definitely think the alcohol industry could realize what’s going on and pay attention to how they’re packaging and market it more to adults than kids,” she said.
If things aren’t done, the impact could be huge for the future.
“Children’s brains are still developing and they don’t stop developing actually until the age of 25 to 29, so when they’re in high school and learning it’s an optimal time for them to learn things and when their brains are impacted by alcohol it disrupts that process and can cause a lot of problems,” Griffith-Lambert said.
The group is worried that the packaging will present problems to uninformed parents and uninformed children. Some drinks look exactly like soda and energy drinks, with just a small marking that it is alcoholic.
Parents might not actually know it is alcohol that their kids are drinking and the kids might not even know they’re drinking alcohol when they think they’re grabbing a soda or juice out of the fridge.