Speaking to the American Council on Alcohol Problems, a former General Authority recently called for a united effort "against the devastation caused by alcohol abuse."
Richard P. Lindsay, released in 1994 as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, received the organization's Clarence True Wilson Christian Leadership Award on Sept. 17 for his work in fighting alcohol abuse. The award and Brother Lindsay's speech were given at the council's annual meeting."The time has come to apply similar standards to alcohol advertising that have produced a remarkable decline in tobacco consumption among most Americans," he said. "Cigarette advertising is barred from television while alcohol consumption is permitted to be cleverly depicted in TV commercials as integral to good fellowship and joyous events. To the extent that the alcohol industry is under public attack for what it is selling, it responds with odes to moderation. But these actually are relatively infrequent, since the plague of alcoholism and alcohol consumption is widely accepted as a given in modern life."
Brother Lindsay said the alcoholic beverage industry spends billions of dollars every year promoting its product, implying benefits such as "sophistication, wit, sexiness, peer acceptance, fitness."
Advertising is almost pervasive enough to make people forget alcohol is a drug that causes 100,000 deaths every year, he said.
"All the health wreckage that has been reliably traced to tobacco is mild compared to that related to alcohol, whose devastation ranges from the killing and serious injury of thousands of innocent people on the highways to the common-place, self destruction of careers and family relations," he declared. "Our object should be to energize the good sense of the American people and encourage them to protect themselves and one another by remaking the image of drinking, similar to what has been done with smoking."