(Taken from Juventud Rebelde)
Do you consume alcoholic beverages? When? How often? How much do you drink? When did you start doing it? Do any family members also consume alcohol? Do you think it's okay for a teenager to consume this kind of drinks? Would you set limits on it? Do you have them?
Tolerance to the consumption of alcoholic beverages in our society (and others) is a double-edged sword because once the limit of social consumption, «sharing», the level known as healthy or moderate, is transgressed, the person can become dependent, and in fact, according to specialized research reports, the way is opened for the consumption of other substances.
For this reason, international organizations, the family and different local institutions are concerned about educating the younger generations in the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages, also encouraging them not to consume alcohol until 18 years old, when they are already adults, and not necessarily associated with fun, enjoyment or hedonism.
Cuba even maintains, from community actions, the educational work towards understanding zero tolerance for alcohol consumption in children under 18, pregnant and drivers This is achieved thanks to the Ministry of Public Health, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Unit, and entities such as the "Súmate" campaign. Likewise, state companies, managers of the non-state sector and civil society are involved.
If you drink, think before ...
As part of the daily activities of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Unit (Prosalud) of the Ministry of Public Health, the development of programs and strategies around mental health, and therefore, the treatment of addictions is a priority.
The graduate in Psychology Geovani Leal Luque explains that, above all, it is essential to create healthy spaces for adolescents and young people, where alcohol consumption is not essential and where the idea that social responsibility should be shared is strengthened.
Leal Luque insists that the later the moment of initiation in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, the less risk there will be of an addiction to this product but also, a dependence on the idea that, without alcohol, every experience is not lived on a pleasant way.
In addition, he specifies that, if necessary, there are rehabilitation sites and a network of mental health centers in the country to serve those who require it. “However, it will always be best to keep up the promotion and prevention initiatives.
«In these times of pandemic it is necessary to intensify these messages because being at home and feeling anxious, depressed or restless cannot be the trigger to succumb. The family, parents in particular, must watch out for non-habitual behaviors in adolescents and young people, in order to perceive any danger in time, "he says.
On the other hand, Danilo Serrano, representative of the "Súmate" campaign in Cuba, confirms that not only the coordinated work with Prosalud strengthens work strategies. “We are interested in joining state and mixed companies such as CubaRon, Cervecería Bucanero, Havana Club S.A. and Los Portales S.A. to promote the responsible consumption of these products.
"Likewise, we have promoted female participation because, in an erroneous way, adolescents and young people usually base their consumption to awaken the attention of girls based on myths and unfounded stereotypes", he points out.
Serrano —who ponders the support of the Ministry of the Food Industry and other entities, insists that the visit to rum shops and taxi stands, for example, has allowed them to get closer to their workers and create alliances to find the best allies in them. "Thinking Cuba means adding everyone to an objective that, ultimately, also contributes to everyone, to a better social coexistence, to a shared responsibility."
State-owned companies: beyond the sale
The Cuba Ron S.A. corporation, in current times where the country and the world are facing the context of pandemic, carries out a campaign in its network and visual strategy that spreads the message of responsible consumption of products.
Mario Ríos, Director of Marketing and Communication of Cuba Ron S.A. corporation, points out that responsible consumption issues are as important as those of a productive nature.
«Irresponsible consumption not only damages the individual, so we cannot ignore the entire projection of the issue in the family and social environment, given the patterns of behavior developed due to states of intoxication, where in many cases features of violence are raised.
“As a spirits trading company, our principle is to educate our consumers on the responsible consumption of our products. Our dear First Master of Cuban Rum: José Pablo Navarro Campa, recently deceased, said: "Rum is not intended for those who abuse alcohol, we want many, many to drink a little, and not that few drink a lot", hence the campaign against alcoholism and in favor of its responsible consumption that is part of our strategy of communication".
He also highlighted that the topic is incorporated as a marketing and communication strategy at the time a specific product is promoted, which allows to evaluate in the field the impact of product promotion in all aspects, where educational messages are given to consumers that demands any product with a determined alcohol content.
“Our entity feels responsible in educating the consumption of our people, so it will continue to insist on a culture of good practices. Over the years, our National Distributor has focused on transmitting messages of intelligent consumption using direct communication as a tool and the promotion of making cocktails.
«As well as proposing the use of our brands for their preparation, taking as a strength, the knowledge of the history and tradition of each of the brands, which guarantees a product culture. We also insist on not ingesting alcoholic beverages when driving, "he said.
Ríos warns that this action is inserted in the new commercial scene, the digital one, which is today the place where more young people attend in search of information and entertainment. «Therefore, from our website and profiles on social networks, messages of public good aimed at consumption are transmitted without distinction of genders.
«We also bet that the warning to responsibility in this sense is not lacking, managing to position the tags: #ToAResponsibleConsumption, #DrinkResponsibly #ResponsibleConsumption. We promote that each one learns to enjoy our essences, nuances and flavors, without ceasing to be responsible.
A social commitment
Claudia Concepción, legal director of Cervecería Bucanero S.A., explains that this entity has also developed a communication program through social networks explaining to our consumers and followers the necessary rules for a moderate consumption of alcohol from home, due to the measures of social distancing necessary to fight COVID-19.
Havana Club takes its social commitment very seriously, says Venus Carrillo, a Communication Specialist from the Company. «Under the tutelage of the French group Pernod Ricard and the advisory of the Center for Research on Addictions (belonging to the University of Medical Sciences of Havana), we have developed projects aimed at promoting responsible consumption, but also protecting the environment and the development of our communities.
An idea conceived a decade ago, "Tú Decides" (You Decide) was the first project that was born with that objective, but aimed particularly at adolescents between 14 and 17 years of age, as they are one of the most vulnerable social groups. Through activities that promote healthy recreation and the development of skills, thousands of adolescents in the country have been touched by this initiative and have learned about the risks involved in ingesting alcoholic beverages at that early age. Thanks to the consent of the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Education, we have been able to arrive at several schools with this message.
“Si bebes, no manejes" (If you drink, don't drive) is another one of the initiatives that Havana Club has unfolded in order to promote responsible behaviors in the society, but in this case, to drivers of vehicles. Placing this message in the press, specialized magazines, even in the vests worn by people working on parking lots in Havana has been a priority; as well as the distribution of flags for cars, loose items and stickers with useful information. In addition, we have made our contribution in events such as the International Day for Road Safety".
Carrillo refers that, in addition, of these two large projects, their policy is to place the message "Drink Responsibly" in all commercial communications. “Whether it is the content that we share on our social networks, in advertisements or any other brand communication medium, we always make an exhortation to responsible consumption.
«In the labeling of our products, the symbol that suggests Zero consumption in pregnant women and minors also appears. Even in the events we carry out, we always take into account the amount of drinks to offer so as not to exceed the limits
«In summary, promoting responsible consumption is not for Havana Club a task to accomplish in a single day, it is a philosophy, a conviction, a priority in our ways of being and doing, because we are a socially responsible brand, and because that it is also a way of ratifying ourselves as The Rum of Cuba».