Liquor Control Board launches effort to educate parents about underage drinking

September 15, 2008

OLYMPIA - To increase awareness of underage drinking issues and motivate parents to talk with their kids about drinking, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has launched an alcohol awareness poster campaign in all state liquor stores targeting parents of school-aged children. The posters and accompanying materials such as brochures highlight current alcohol research, detail Washington underage drinking statistics, and offer tips and suggestions on how parents and the community can help reduce underage drinking.

"This campaign offers the WSLCB a unique chance to reach parents at our stores with regular messages about underage drinking," said Lorraine Lee, WSLCB Chairman. "Our first poster, which is in stores now, features a back-to-school theme in time for the new school year. The first few weeks of school are a great time for parents and their children to talk about family expectations about alcohol use."

Alcohol awareness poster campaign
The 22" by 28" posters are displayed in a metal frame in all 161 state liquor stores. The WSLCB is working with communities across the state to find ways to display the posters, and is also working with the state Department of Licensing to display the posters in Licensing Service Offices around the state. The WSLCB will release new posters with themes relevant to the key times in which underage drinking is likely to occur, such as prom or graduation.

"Underage drinking is a leading public health problem in Washington," said Tony Masias, WSLCB Alcohol Awareness Program Manager. "Studies show parents are the No. 1 influence on whether their children drink, so this campaign targets parents with the latest information about alcohol and youth in an effort to reduce underage drinking."

Parent and youth focus groups results released
In June 2008, the WSLCB contracted with Gilmore Research Group of Seattle to conduct parent focus groups in Seattle and Yakima. The participating parents have children ages 10 to 17. The results were compared to data from 11 youth focus groups conducted by the two organizations in June 2007. The youth participants were divided into four groups, including sixth graders, eighth graders, older high school students, and younger college students.

The results from the youth and parent focus groups support previous studies that have found that parents are the primary influence on their child's decision to drink.

Data from the two focus groups - including information on youth drinking habits, family perceptions of drinking, and motivations and deterrents to youth drinking - will be used in conjunction with other studies when creating future WSLCB educational programs and alcohol awareness posters.

To view a summary of the parent focus groups and the results from the parent and youth focus groups, please visit



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