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Insight of the Day: The Sober-Curious Movement Has Reached an Impasse

The article discusses the challenges and debates surrounding the "sober curious" movement and the consumption of non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beverages by individuals under the legal drinking age. The rise of zero- and low-alcohol beverages, known as "NoLos," has led to a growing number of establishments, such as non-alcoholic bars and bottle shops, selling these products. However, the question of whether individuals under 21 should have access to these non-alcoholic alternatives to traditional alcoholic drinks remains a topic of contention.

State laws and regulations vary on what constitutes an "adult" beverage, especially when it comes to substances that mimic the flavor or appearance of alcoholic drinks but contain no alcohol. Some establishments choose to restrict sales of non-alcoholic beverages to individuals under 21, while others are more lenient. There are concerns that exposing young people to these alcohol-like alternatives may normalize or desensitize them to real alcohol consumption, potentially perpetuating negative aspects of drinking culture.

The article highlights differing perspectives on the role of NoLos in promoting healthier habits among young adults. Some believe that non-alcoholic beverages can provide a healthier alternative to traditional drinks, while others caution against potential risks associated with underage consumption of alcohol-like substances. The decision to sell non-alcoholic beverages to individuals under 21 is influenced by various factors, including legal considerations, cultural norms, and individual beliefs about alcohol consumption.

Overall, the article underscores the complexities surrounding the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages by minors and the ongoing discussions within the industry regarding age-appropriate access to these products. As societal attitudes and legal frameworks evolve, the issue of defining what makes a drink "adult" in the absence of alcohol continues to spark debate and reflection on drinking culture.

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