ParentsEmpowered.org kicked off the fourth year of its ongoing public awareness campaign against underage drinking Thursday with some good news.
Statewide averages for underage drinking are down across all grade levels for lifetime use, including use within a 30-day time frame and binge drinking in general, according to the Student Health and Risk Prevention survey.
The survey also found that teens cited parents’ disapproval of alcohol in general as the main reason they don’t drink.
The survey, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, also found an average 4 percent reduction in drinking among teens over the past two years and across every high school grade. That means about:
- 11,260 fewer Utah children reporting ever trying alcohol in their lifetimes.
- 5,520 fewer having used alcohol in the past 30 days in the last two years.
- 2,600 fewer underage binge/heavy drinkers in Utah than two years ago.
While most Utah parents don’t drink, 65 percent of them generally agree their child could be exposed to alcohol.
“This is significant since many Utah parents often erroneously believe their children are insulated from the dangers of underage drinking because of their upbringing and their children don’t need parents’ help to stay alcohol free,” said ParentsEmpowered spokeswoman Sherri Clark.
Parents should continue to be vigilant about tobacco products as well, said Sands, adding “there is no safe tobacco product,” and in any ingested form causes heart and other organ diseases, cancer and death.
Sands specifically outed Camel Snus, a smokeless — and with the added attraction of being spitless — tobacco in tea bag-type pouches touting refreshing flavors such as “frost,” now available in convenience stores.
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