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Anheuser-Busch and City of Columbus Tackle Harmful Drinking

First-of-its-kind partnership launching in Columbus, Ohio will combine behavior research and proactive programs to change harmful behavior

[COLUMBUS, OH] - Anheuser-Busch and the City of Columbus are launching the first-ever citywide program in the U.S. to understand and help reduce the harmful use of alcohol, as part of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Global Smart Drinking Goals initiative. Working alongside community leaders and local organizations, Anheuser-Busch, the City of Columbus and Columbus Public Health will study harmful behaviors, research community needs, and implement concrete initiatives aimed at reducing harmful drinking in the local Columbus region.

"I'm proud that Columbus is leading the charge in finding creative ways to reduce harmful drinking,” said Michael Stinziano, City of Columbus Councilmember. “The results of this partnership will save lives here in Ohio and around the world."

Together, Anheuser-Busch and the City of Columbus will design and conduct baseline research to better understand harmful alcohol use in the community and identify community needs.

“We are excited to work with Anheuser-Busch to learn more about safe drinking practices,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Neighborhoods are our number one priority, and we strive to make progress for the well-being of our friends and families throughout the city of Columbus.”

Columbus joins Leuven (Belgium), Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Brasília (Brazil), Jiangshan (China) and Zacatecas (Mexico) as cities where dedicated programs are being implemented with the goal of reducing the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10 percent by the end of 2020.

“We wanted a city that would be a thoughtful, committed partner focused on improving outcomes for the community – so Columbus was the perfect choice,” said Katja Zastrow, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility and Better World at Anheuser-Busch. “Since Anheuser-Bush opened a brewery in Columbus almost half a century ago, we have been committed to being involved in the community and the city has proven to be a great partner. We know Mayor Ginther and the team at the Public Health Department will work with us closely to develop innovative programs that will have real impact.”

Based on the research, the partnership will create actionable initiatives and work with local organizations and leaders on implementation to help reduce harmful drinking in the local Columbus region. Following implementation, Anheuser-Busch and the City of Columbus will work together to measure progress and share the results so that other cities and regions can use the key learnings from this program.

This approach reflects Anheuser-Busch’s belief in developing a proactive mindset in helping to reduce harmful alcohol use and empowering customers to make smart drinking choices that can be applied to other cities around the country and the world.

The Global Smart Drinking Goals program in Columbus continues Anheuser-Busch’s long-held commitment to bringing people together for a better world, with more than $1 billion invested since 1982 by the company and its wholesalers in the US in efforts to promote responsible drinking and discourage the harmful use of alcohol.  

“Through our research, we are aiming to truly understand our community needs and provide evidenced-based programs to have a positive impact on a range of behaviors including binge drinking, drunk driving, and underage drinking,” said Dr. Teresa Long, Columbus Health Commissioner.