Almost like a Carrie Nation wielding an ax at demon liquor, U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello launched a drive Tuesday to chop up the marriage between college spring break and drinking.
And Novello, a former aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, offered a long list of deadly statistics and challenges she hoped that students and the alcohol industry will find sobering - literally.She added that because of a barrage of advertising from breweries and others, spring break "has become synonymous with excessive and binge drinking." She said that is dangerous because it "induces acute intoxication and places the individual at greater risk of accident, violent behavior and suicide."
As part of her new "Put on the Brakes" campaign, she asked brewers and retailers to eliminate advertising that appeals to youth under age 21, who cannot legally drink anywhere in the nation.
Novello also asked beer wholesalers to curtail promotions during spring break.
Armed with plenty of charts, Novello also offered numerous statistics about college students and alcohol, including:
- Alcohol is a factor in 21 percent of all college dropouts.
- About 500,000 college students, or 4 percent, drink every day. College students get drunk more often than young people who do not attend college.
- American students consume more than 430 gallons of alcoholic beverages a year - enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool for every college and university.
- College students drink an average of 34 gallons of alcohol a year and spend about $4.2 billion a year on alcoholic beverages.