HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4026
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 1st Special Session
By Representatives Heavey, Fuhrman, Sheldon and Paris.
Read first time June 30, 1991. Referred to Committee on Commerce & Labor.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, A 1990 Superintendent of Public Instruction survey revealed that an estimated forty-five thousand Washington students (over twelve percent) in grades 6-12 can be considered heavy drinkers; and
WHEREAS, In 1987 a Washington Traffic Safety Commission survey, twelve and three-tenths percent of the Washington adult population reported "chronic drinking," drinking an average of sixty or more alcoholic drinks a month; and
WHEREAS, In a 1988 Washington Traffic Safety Commission survey, forty-eight percent of the persons killed and twenty-two and one-half percent who received a disabling injury on Washington highways resulted from accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol; and
WHEREAS, In a state-wide telephone survey, sixty-six percent of the state residents said that alcohol and drug abuse is the most serious threat to the health and well-being of those living in Washington State; and
WHEREAS, The average age at which young people begin drinking is thirteen. By age thirteen, approximately thirty percent of boys and twenty-two percent of girls classify themselves as drinkers. According to the 1988 National High School Senior Survey, seventeen percent of high school seniors reported having been drunk by eighth grade, thirty-seven percent by ninth grade, fifty-four percent by tenth grade, and seventy-one percent by twelfth grade. Studies demonstrate that the use of alcohol by individuals before the age of fifteen appears to be one of the predictors of later heavy alcohol and other drug use by the individuals; and
WHEREAS, Young people are not well informed about the hazards of alcohol use. Only forty-three percent of high school seniors believe there is great risk of harm from drinking activities such as binge drinking once or twice each weekend; and
WHEREAS, According to the Department of Health and Human Services, sponsorships and promotions on college campuses by alcohol producers and the use of celebrities and youth-oriented musical groups in advertising create a prodrinking environment; and
WHEREAS, Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of birth defects; and
WHEREAS, According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated eighteen million persons in the United States who are eighteen or older currently experience problems as a result of alcohol use. An estimated four million five hundred thousand young people are dependent on alcohol or are problem drinkers; and
WHEREAS, An estimated twenty-five percent of all hospitalized persons have alcohol-related problems; and
WHEREAS, Alcohol advertising, especially in the broadcast media, represents the single greatest source of alcohol education for persons in the United States. According to a 1990 study of ten to thirteen-year-olds, funded by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, there is a relationship between exposure and attention by an individual to beer advertising, and expectations that the individual drink as an adult; and
WHEREAS, A major 1981 federally funded study found a significant relationship between:
(1) Exposure of individuals to alcoholic beverage advertising as youth; and
(2) Drinking behaviors and attitudes of the individuals that can lead to certain forms of problem drinking; and
WHEREAS, The alcoholic beverage industry spends approximately two billion dollars each year on advertising and promotions in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Over two-thirds of persons surveyed in a 1989 Wall Street Journal poll favor requiring warnings about the dangers of drinking both on alcoholic beverage containers and in alcohol advertisements. Nearly three-fourths of persons surveyed in a 1990 Gallup Poll favor requiring health warning messages in alcohol advertising;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the United States Congress pass the Alcoholic Beverage Advertising Act of 1991, S. 664, requiring health and safety warning messages on all print and broadcast alcohol advertisements.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.