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Parents, Young People and Alcohol ‘Cogs’

Under 18. No Alcohol. The Safest Choice.

Many parents are concerned about alcohol and the impact that it can have on their child. The Parents, Young People and Alcohol ‘Cogs' campaign, first launched in November 2012, was developed to give parents and young people important information and tools to make informed choices about delaying initiation to alcohol use. In 2014/15, the campaign is planned to run twice in the year.

The campaign's key message is based on the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) guideline that for children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. 1

The campaign is a joint initiative of the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO), the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth (MCAAY), and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (TICHR), and is part-funded by Healthway.

Key message

Under 18. No Alcohol. The safest choice.

Target groups

Primary: Parents of young people 12 to 17 years-of-age.
Secondary: Young people 12 to 17 years-of-age.

Campaign objectives

  • To increase parental preparedness and acceptance of responsibility to monitor, supervise and prevent young peoples’ exposure to alcohol consumption and related harm.
  • Increase awareness of the National Health and Medical Research Council Guideline – for children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. 1
  • Decrease the number of parents who provide alcohol to young people (under 18 years-of-age).
  • Decrease misconceptions regarding factors that protect and prevent young people drinking in a harmful way.
  • Increase support for evidence-based measures that can be taken to reduce alcohol-related harm.

Evaluation

Post-campaign evaluation found that:

  • Over half of parents exposed to the campaign spoke to their child about alcohol and 1 in 10 placed greater restrictions on exposure.
  • Since the campaign aired, parents gave greater importance to discussing alcohol, supervision and management and they are now more likely to manage alcohol by forbidding it.
  • There were significant increases in the proportion of parents and young people describing and claiming knowledge of the correct NHMRC guidelines for under 18’s as no alcohol at all.
  • 2 in 10 parents exposed to the campaign have tried to prevent their child from drinking at all and 1 in 10 have imposed greater restrictions.
  • More parents now think it is not appropriate to give alcohol to under 18's.
  • There were significant decreases since the campaign aired in the proportion of parents who think giving alcohol to their child will help control how much they drink; introducing young people to alcohol teaches them to drink responsibly; and that the European drinking culture is less harmful.

Resources

Resources can be ordered using this order form.

Campaign Video 30 second CogsTelevision Commercial

15 second Cogs Television Commercial

Campaign Audio Young People Female Radio ad
Young People Male Radio ad
Expert Radio Ad - Fiona Wood, Burns Specialist
Related Information

Parents & Young People

Children and young people are vulnerable to alcohol and in particular, alcohol can have a significant impact on the developing body and brain.


What Parents Need to Know

The NHMRC alcohol guideline for young people gives a sound and important reason for parents and care givers not to give alcohol young people if they are under 18 years of age.


What Young People Need to Know

Concerns about the risks of alcohol for young people led to the NHMRC recommending: For young people under 18 years of age, no alcohol is the safest choice.


References

1 National Health and Medical Research Council (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved from http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf.