Oregon LCC Pressured to Expand Alcohol Sales

Oregon Liquor Store

Under pressure from liquor store owners and retailers, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission recently assembled a task force to make recommendations to the legislature for expanding alcohol sales in the state. Options under consideration include increasing the sales commission to current liquor store owners, allowing large box stores to sell spirits, and allowing small specialty stores to sell spirits. The Northwest Grocery Association (NGA), leaders in the Washington State privatization campaign, is threatening to launch a ballot initiative to overturn the entire state system and privatize all alcohol sales. So far, Oregonians have resisted the NGA's rhetoric, taking their cue from the privatization fiasco in Washington State and the distributors, small distillers, and brewers in Oregon who benefit from the state-controlled system.

Richmond, CA Bans Alcohol Billboards to Protect Youth


Richmond Billboard

Photo courtesy of ABC7 News/KGO TV.

Noting that Richmond, CA is inundated with alcohol displays, and many that specifically target Hispanic and low-income populations, the City Council unanimously voted to ban alcohol billboards within 1,000 feet of schools and other areas that youth frequent. Youth, particularly youth of color, are overexposed to alcohol advertising. Such overexposure is related to starting to drink earlier in life, more frequent binge drinking, and the development of alcohol problems later in life. Limiting youth exposure to alcohol advertising is an important and effective policy to reduce these negative outcomes.

Puerto Rico Rep. Proposes Law to Raise Drinking Age to 21


Rep. Carlos Vargas

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

Alcohol Ad

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. Public health advocates such as the American Academy of Pediatrics urge the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to adopt standards for alcohol advertising, including restrictions on ads in media with audiences that are likely more than 10% underage. To read more about how self-regulation of alcohol advertising fails to protect public health, download our report: "Why Big Alcohol Can't Police Itself: A Review of Advertising Self-Regulation in the Distilled Spirits Industry."