Date(s) - 04/29/2015 - 04/30/2015
2015 RRForum Conference Summary
With ongoing concerns about alcohol-related harms among college students, the Responsible Retailing Forum’s 13th annual national conference focused on how campus and community officials can work collaboratively with alcohol retailers and their industry partners to reduce underage and high-risk drinking. The conference, sponsored this year by the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission, was held on April 29 and 30 at the historic Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City.
Featured speaker Dr. Thomas Workman of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a nationally recognized expert on community-based prevention, presented a set of guiding principles for how campus administrators, regulators and law enforcement officials, public health advocates, and responsible alcohol retailers, distributors, and producers can implement effective strategies for reducing alcohol problems in the community. Dr. Workman was introduced by Dr. William DeJong of Boston University, who provided a historical perspective on campus alcohol prevention and the specific intervention strategies that have proven to be effective, including social norms marketing, enforcing the age 21 drinking age, screening and brief intervention, and responsible beverage service programs.
Joel Grube, Ph.D., of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, then presented the findings of RRForum’s national study of MillerCoors Respect 21™. Across several investigations, Respect 21™ was found to increase how often store clerks check ID, a critical step for reducing youth access to alcohol and problems related to underage drinking. The ‘Report on the Respect 21™ Responsible Retailing Program’ can be found at: http://rrforum.org/communications/ .
Following Dr. Grube’s presentation, Drs. Workman and DeJong facilitated a panel discussion to examine how to overcome the challenges involved in engaging local retailers in efforts to reduce underage sales and alcohol overservice. Then, taking a broader perspective, former SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie of the Curie Group LLC, provided insights into how stakeholders can work cooperatively to nurture and sustain a healthy business economy while also maintaining public health and safety.
The conference also examined alcohol responsibility programming that has emerged from the UK; a new technology introduced in Europe that in effect outsources the age-verification process; an update on the Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco compliance program and an examination of its impact on the field; the public health controversy over electronic cigarettes; and the perspectives of state regulators on current issues related to age-restricted products.