TEEN SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Californians Express Concern, Support New Taxes
Teen substance abuse continues to be a major concern of most Californians who believe beer companies target their products to teens, according to a new survey by the California Center for Health Improvement (CCHI). The survey of 1,168 California adults was conducted for the CCHI by the Field Institute. It found that the majority of Californians are concerned about teen substance abuse. Fifty-one percent of adults and 59% of parents said they are very worried about substance abuse among teens. Low-income parents (those making less than $20,000 per year) were the most concerned, with 75% saying they are very worried. Fifty-nine percent of parents also feel that more information from health providers about substance abuse would be very useful, with low-income parents even more likely to say this information would be useful. The majority of adults (75%) report that they are very or somewhat willing to pay more in taxes for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs that would address alcohol, illegal drug and tobacco use.
Over half of the adults surveyed (56%) felt beer companies target their products to minors, and 89% of respondents statewide "strongly agree" that local and state governments should have the authority to suspend or revoke the license of a liquor store that repeatedly sells alcohol to minors. Three out of four Californians (77%) also support local laws to prohibit billboard advertising of alcohol near schools and in residential areas, and 78% believe that alcoholic beverage promotions should be prohibited from children and teens. The survey also found that 76% of registered voters would support increasing the state tax on beer if the additional revenue is used to fund more services for children and families (CCHI release, 4/20).