WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Responsible Retailing Forum (RRF), a leading organization in preventing underage sales of age-restricted products, announced today that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The grant will allow the RRF further to develop a new model for preventing alcohol sales to underage and intoxicated customers, bolstering RRF's ongoing efforts to curb underage drinking. The new method has already been piloted tested and demonstrated strong improvements in age-verification rates in pilot studies in New Mexico, Iowa and Massachusetts.
The model -- based upon recommendations in the 2002 Report on Best Practices for Responsible Retailing prepared for the federal Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention -- involves a holistic approach to unlawful sales prevention by not only providing tools and effective systems for the store environment but also encouraging cooperation among retailers and their suppliers, regulators and public health and safety in a cooperative, problem-solving approach to underage access and alcohol abuse.
"The grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse will go a long way in our efforts to combat underage drinking as we tackle the complex challenges of underage access and alcohol abuse," said RRF President Brad Krevor, Ph.D. "This will enable us to build upon past successes and maintain the momentum we have established. Diageo's support of the Responsible Retailing Forum and its leadership have been critical to this success."
Although the vast majority of kids who drink get their alcohol from people they know, 15 percent to 30 percent of teens report that they purchase alcohol beverages from retailers directly*. For this reason, the RRF and industry partners like Diageo work closely with retailers and others to strengthen efforts to prevent youth access to alcohol. Diageo helped launch RRF in 2003, and has provided unrestricted grants to support its work since then.
"As a company with zero tolerance for underage drinking, Diageo is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Responsible Retailing Forum," said Gary Zizka, Vice President Public Policy, Diageo NA. "This grant will bring RRF and the industry one step closer to keeping alcohol out of the hands of underage drinkers."
The Principal Investigator for the award is Brad Krevor, Ph.D., RRF's President. Principal consultants are William DeJong, Ph.D., of the Boston University School of Public Health and Joel Grube, Ph.D., Director of the Prevention Research Center, PIRE, both of whom assisted in the development and evaluation of the model. Working with RRF to field test the model and evaluate its potential in other cities will be the NM Alcohol and Gaming Division, the Vermont Department of Liquor Control, and the city licensing commissions in Waltham, MA and Madison, WI. American Beverage Licensees and its state chapters will also assist in representing the needs and interests of licensees.
About the Responsible Retailing Forum
The RRF brings together public and private stakeholders - regulatory and enforcement agencies; attorneys general; public health agencies and advocates; retailers and their associations; distributors and producers; training organizations; and researchers - for the dual purposes of (1) identifying, rigorously evaluating and sharing Best Practices for responsible retailing, and (2) examining responsible retailing policy from the perspective of the various diverse stakeholders. For more information about the activities of the RRF visit www.rrforum.org.
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.
Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).
For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.
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* 1 Century Council. National Research on Underage Alcohol Access and Parental Discussions, Washington, D.C., 2002; Dent, C., Grube, J.W., Biglan, A. Community Level Alcohol Availability and Enforcement of Possession Laws as predictors of Youth Drinking. Preventive Medicine, 2005, 40,355-362.
SOURCE Responsible Retailing Forum