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Public Links 'Alcopops' to Underage Drinking
Date:4/6/2009

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health finds 92% of adults support warning labels, 84% support marketing restrictions for flavored alcoholic beverages

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Opening a tall cool beverage during the ball game or at a backyard cookout on a hot day is what families do. This summer, will your child be opening a soft drink or a hard one? Flavored alcoholic beverages - or alcopops - are becoming more popular, especially among young people, and it's raising people's concerns about underage drinking.

According to a report released today, 52 percent of adults believe definitely or probably that alcopops encourage underage drinking. The report also finds that because these often fruity, fizzy, pop-like drinks can be easily confused with non-alcoholic beverages, 92 percent of adults strongly support the use of warning labels on alcopops. Most adults also support greater restrictions on advertising that focuses on youth.

"Alcopops are sweet drinks made to taste like cola or soda pop or punch or lemonade," says Matthew Davis, M.D., director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. "Typically, alcopops have between 5- and 8-percent alcohol content, which is a little bit more than most beers, and they're marketed to look like familiar drinks to kids."

What many people may not know is that most alcopops contain distilled alcohol - such as vodka or whiskey - but are classified in most states as "malt beverages" similar to beer. This designation allows alcopops to be marketed more widely, including online and in magazines, and sold in a greater number of retail locations.

"We also found in this poll that about 75-percent of adults in the United States are concerned underage drinking is a problem," Davis says. "Underage drinking in the U.S. is pretty common. About 20-percent of 8t
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SOURCE U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
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