Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: In their article about alcohol
consumption and expenditures for underage drinking, Ms Foster and colleagues1 recommended more campaigns against underage drinking,
tougher penalties for violating the drinking age, and the like. Many such
interventions have already been tried, including billions of dollars spent
in the war on "underage drinking" and the enactment of many statutes. The
drinking age in the United States is the highest in the world. We have put
holograms on driver's lincenses, required registration of beer kegs, and even
paid police officers to work undercover as convenience-store clerks. Nothing
has worked. It is about time to recognize that punitive alcohol policies are
a costly failure.
Walcoff M. Approaches to Reducing Consumption of Alcohol by Youth—Reply. JAMA. 2003;289(20):2645. doi:10.1001/jama.289.20.2645-a