NOVATO, Calif., Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Novato City Council Members took a decisive step towards protecting youth from alcopops Tuesday night when they unanimously passed a Resolution of Support for creating an Alcopop-Free Zone�. The resolution encourages the city's alcohol retailers to voluntarily stop selling dangerous, youth-attractive flavored malt beverages, also known as "alcopops."
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"The number of teens that drink in our community is really high," said Lexi Simon, Novato High School senior and member of the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth. "I have seen how easy it is for Novato teens to access alcohol. Stepping up has turned me into a role model and it feels good to be part of a solution, rather than not caring. If Plan A doesn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters for us to make this work."
Dangerous, youth-attractive alcopops, or flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are:
-- Pre-mixed, sweetened alcoholic drinks that taste like juice and soda
-- Packaged in brightly-colored cans, similar to energy drinks
-- Priced low enough to effectively target underage drinkers, especially young women
-- Shelved wherever beer is available � including convenience stores, gas stations, and mini-marts
-- Often supersized at up to 24 oz. single-serving containers with 12 percent alcohol � the equivalent of 4-5 beers which cannot be consumed responsibly by any age drinker
-- Encouraging underage consumption which leads to serious alcohol-related harm
-- Four Loko (Phusion Projects), Tilt (Anheuser-Busch InBev), Blast (Pabst), Smirnoff Ice (Diageo), Bartles & Jaymes (E&J Gallo), Sparks (The Steele Brewing Co), and Mike' s Hard Lemonade
"The courageous action by the Novato City Council will help keep alcohol out of the hands of Novato youth," stated Teri Rockas, former co-chair of the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth. "This is exciting! With this resolution, the Coalition will be well positioned to partner with retailers to remove these dangerous products - and keep Novato kids and families safe."
This past spring, the Marin County Board of Supervisors passed the country's first Alcopop-Free Zone� Resolution of Support. In early September, the San Rafael City Council approved an Alcopop-Free Zone� Resolution of Support.
Various retailers in San Rafael, Stinson Beach and Bolinas have already pulled most alcopops from their store shelves. Just last week the Tiburon Town Council unanimously approved a Resolution of Support urging Tiburon Peninsula alcohol retailers to stop selling alcopops.
"Alcopops are an insidious device that with the cool labeling and high sugar content really entice teenagers to drink, especially teenage girls," stated Judy Arnold, Marin County Supervisor. "I really want to congratulate you for addressing teenage drinking."
Cheryl Paddack, Executive Director of the Novato Youth Center also spoke in support: "We recognize that drinking and binge drinking here is higher than the state and the national average. As a parent and community leader I would ask the city council to approve this resolution"
"Alcopops are just a predatory marketing ploy targeted at young people across the country and the enticement they produce leads not just to drinking, but binge drinking which can lead to some very severe situations," stated Heart Fogel, a 13-year-old freshman at San Francisco University High School and a member of the Marin County Youth Commission. "We need to attack this problem at the source, by getting Alcopops off our shelves and out of our youth's lives."
Current Alcopop-Free Zone\x99 Marin supporters now include:
-- Albert Park Neighborhood Alliance
-- Alcohol Justice
-- Being Adept
-- Families for Safer Schools
-- Healthy Marin Partnership
-- Healthy Novato
-- Marin County Board of Supervisors
-- Marin County Advisory Board on Alcohol & Other Drug Problems
-- Marin County Dept. of Health & Human Services Prevention Hub
-- Marin County Pharmacists Association
-- Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth
-- Novato City Council
-- Novato Friday Night Live
-- Novato Police Department
-- Novato Youth Council
-- Paradise Markets
-- Perry's Deli
-- Pharmacist Planning Service, Inc.
-- San Rafael City Council
-- Santa Margarita Neighborhood Association
-- San Rafael Community Coalition
-- Sober Living in Mill Valley
-- Tiburon Town Council
-- Twin Cities Coalition for Healthy Youth
-- United Markets
-- YMCA \x96 Marin County Youth Court
-- Youth Leadership Institute
-- Youth for Justice
"Coalition efforts, campaign rallies and demands will continue at 7-Eleven and Safeway stores, and at all other alcopop retailers in Marin until the county truly is an Alcopop-Free Zone," stated Jorge Castillo, Advocacy Director for Alcohol Justice.
The Alcopop-Free Zone\x99 Marin coalition is open to any agency or group to join their efforts to remove alcopops from the county. Please visit http://www.AlcopopFreeZone.us for more information.
"Marin County is proving that any community, youth or parent group can organize to create a safer and healthier environment, free of youth-attractive alcopops," stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director/CEO of Alcohol Justice. "Our vision is to see this happen everywhere in the country, and we will support all community efforts to make it happen."
CONTACT: Don Carney 415 459-9622
Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336
Michael Scippa 415 548-0492
SOURCE Alcohol Justice
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