Underage drinking in decline

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A recent survey of 2,500 teenagers shows that over 50% of teenagers don’t drink alcohol.

Between 2001-2010 the amount of teenagers abstaining from drinking alcohol rose from 33% to 50%.

Dr Michael Livingston from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre says the trend away from drinking is widespread and it reflects similar results both in Australia and overseas.

Nanny Staters are keen to chalk this up as a win, but public health paternalists have been making the argument that the government isn’t doing anything for some time now. Here’sĀ Dr Christopher Doran:

‘It’s about the drinking problem in general, and it’s not being dealt with.’

The shift is not just occurring in Australia, but is a trend that is being replicated overseas. The change is obviously due to a cultural shift that has occurred in the past decade.

It’s just not cool to be unhealthy.

The current generation is more than ever focused on good health, and the role of parents in stopping the upward trend in underage drinking cannot be forgotten.

Like smoking, public health warnings aren’t what necessarily dissuadesĀ teenagers from smoking, it is the image of engaging in the activity itself that is the vice. Alcohol appears to be following the same lead.

Society and culture are what defines individuals behaviour, not government warnings or poorly thought out excise taxes.

Read more here.

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