On Wednesday, I attended the first meeting, via Zoom, of the Alcohol Task Force sub group on Public Health, Safety and Prevention. The chair, Lisa Wong, laid out the areas we will focus on in making our recommendations to the State Treasurer. They include education, data, college drinking, funding of prevention including an alcohol tax, advertising and the role of technology.
Much of the discussion focused on the role of education and the level of awareness of the general public about some of the harmful effects of alcohol. The group includes people from the liquor industry as well as public health advocates. It will be interesting to see how the chair and the committee balance the economic imperative of robust alcohol sales with the need to keep the public safe.
I will keep you posted about how the deliberations go.