Puerto Rico Rep. Proposes Law to Raise Drinking Age to 21
Rep. Carlos Vargas Ferrer
Puerto Rican Rep. Carlos Vargas has proposed a law to raise the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) in Puerto Rico from 18 to 21. Public health research shows substantial evidence that a MLDA of 21 results in fewer traffic deaths among youth as well as lower rates of binge drinking and alcohol dependence. The island loses about $11 million annually in federal transportation funding, which is contingent upon a MLDA of 21. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands remain the only U.S. state/territories with an MLDA less than 21.
New Study: Alcohol Advertising Codes Allow Risky Messages
A recent study from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) adds to the growing evidence that industry self-regulation of its own alcohol advertising does not work to protect public safety. The industry's codes allow overexposure of youth to alcohol advertising and untruthful health claims, among other concerns. Analysis of 1,800 magazine advertisements revealed that many contain unhealthy messages and images such as sexually objectified women and alcohol consumption associations with weight control.
Anti-Government Women's Group Touts Free Speech, Ignores Cost of Harm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A November 15 Forbes op-ed on alcohol marketing to women is anti-regulation rhetoric of the Independent Women's Forum (IWF), which dismisses the public health perspective on alcohol-related harm and effective alcohol policy. The op-ed wasn't about the amount of harm women experience from alcohol, or how to reduce it. Narrowing the issue to those who are addicted to, or dependent on, the substance fails to address the breadth and cost of harm caused by alcohol and ignores evidence-based policies for reducing such harm.