Help beat underage drinking

Who should be held responsible for under-age liquor purchases as the trend seems to be to point fingers at everyone else?  The truth is, the responsibility lies with each and every one of us.

In light of this ongoing challenge, the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) has launched their newly designed in-store sticker campaign titled RU18 to assist in increasing awareness amongst retailers and the public alike and combating the current stream of underage alcohol purchases.

“The aim is to reinforce the ARA message of responsible drinking by keeping the legal age limit top of mind for both the purchaser and the distributor as well as discouraging adults from sending underage buyers to buy alcohol for them,” says ARA spokesperson Adrian Botha. 

Creating awareness regarding the role that traders play the reduction of alcohol abuse in their respective communities is key to stemming the problem. Internationally published author of the LifeTalk books, Izabella Little Gates commented, “underage drinking is a real problem the world over, not just in South Africa, and it is up to us as parents and communities to put a stop to the problem at the root: limiting underage children access to purchasing alcohol. 

Children and teenagers are faced with a variety of difficult challenges while growing up, most importantly the effect of peer pressure, and it is up to parents and communities to instill a sense of responsibility and awareness in their children so that they make the right choices when they are put in these situations.”

“The ARA acknowledges underage drinking as a huge problem. It is only with the assistance of the distributing outlets and by encouraging responsible behavior amongst purchasers that we can reduce the extent to which this is happening.  While this campaign is targeted on the purchase of alcohol, we are continually focused on educating adults regarding awareness of the availability of alcohol within the home to underage drinkers” continues Botha.

The ARA is in the process of distributing their in-store point of sale material to various outlets over the next few months and look forward to working alongside store owners and retail employees to create greater awareness around their latest campaign.

So this festive season, and on an ongoing basis, do your bit and take responsibility by alerting others to the issue of underage drinking and the extent to which children can access alcohol so that together, we may help curb this problem.

For more information please visit the ARA website.

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