Throughout the month of April, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) will recognize Alcohol Awareness Month, as highlighted by the U.S. Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to raise awareness about alcohol abuse.
“Alcohol is a product that can be enjoyed when consumed responsibly, but unlike peanut butter or chewing gum, alcohol can be abused,” says NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser.
“Alcohol isn’t a product for everyone at all times in all places,” Purser adds. “Year after year, national surveys shows that a third of the U.S. adult population chooses not to consume alcohol for various reasons. That is why it needs to be regulated in an efficient manner. The work of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as well as alcohol regulators in the states – which enforce federal and state alcohol laws – cannot be underestimated.”
At the national level, the TTB enforces regulations established by the Federal Alcohol Administration Act as they relate to alcohol production, permitting and marketing. TTB ensures industry integrity through a comprehensive system of licensing and background checks.
The TTB also regulates more than 50,000 permitted alcohol beverage operations in the United States, including more than 20,000 permitted wholesalers (distributors); 8,600 permitted breweries; 12,500 permitted wineries; 2,400 liquor producers; and 10,000-plus alcohol importers. The TTB works to enforce trade practice regulations at 640,000 licensed retailers across the country, and agency officials review well over 100,000 labels and thousands of formulas each year to protect U.S. consumers from counterfeit, adulterated or illegally produced products.
In 2017, a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, expressing support for the TTB. The letter, which was signed by 240 members of Congress, highlights the value of the American system of alcohol regulation and applauds TTB’s work as the primary federal regulator of the alcohol industry.
“Funding our regulators at the federal and state levels is critical for protecting consumers and encouraging responsible alcohol consumption,” Purser says. “America’s beer distributors provide consumers with more choice and variety at bars and restaurants and on store shelves, and strongly advocate for enjoying it responsibly.”
NBWA encourages parents, educators and community leaders to join efforts to encourage responsible and legal consumption by utilizing SAMHSA resources that can help educate young people about the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of making smart decisions. More information about these resources can be found at www.stopalcoholabuse.gov.