Raleigh, NC— Various North Carolina organizations and citizens, including members of the Addiction Professionals of North Carolina, successfully urged the ABC Commission on Wednesday, March 20th to reject the approval of a new and dangerous alcohol product that is described as a “shot in a tube.”
Stout 21 is a new alcoholic beverage available in various flavors and packaged in a 3 ounce, easily concealable tube. This small tube contains 15% alcohol by volume– the equivalent of one 12-ounce beer. Due to the packaging and rounded bottom, consumption through any other method than “shot-style” would be difficult. Had this product been approved, it would be sold in convenience and grocery stores, or anywhere else beer is sold.
“These flavored alcohol items like Stout seem tailor-made for a youth market, and that concerns addiction professionals a great deal. Studies show that those who begin drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence later in life than those who wait until 21,” said Mark Ezzell, Executive Director of the Addiction Professionals of North Carolina (APNC), the state organization and NAADAC affiliate representing the interests of North Carolina’s substance abuse prevention community.
APNC was part of a broad community coalition working against the company, whose legal team included attorneys from one of North Carolina’s largest law firms.
Retired Superior Court judge Ron Bogle, an Orange County public health advocate, said, “I am very pleased by the wise unanimous decision of the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Clearly, they believed Stout was a threat to underage drinkers, and would likely be their primary market. The commission did the right thing.”
Existing flavored alcohol beverages such as Stout 21 are more popular than beer among teenage girls and represent over 16% of the youth alcohol market. “Products packaged like this are highly attractive to youth consumers,” said Wanda Boone with Durham Together for Resilient Youth (T.R.Y). “Additionally, these products put our low wealth communities in great harm. These communities that already have high concentrations of alcohol outlets (convenience stores), increased rates of crime and chronic disease, do not need another dangerous alcoholic product to worsen the myriad problems that exist.”