10,000+ Students Join 'Smashed' Program to Curb Underage Drinking in Hungary

  • 1 Jun 2023 4:25 PM
  • Budapest Business Journal
10,000+ Students Join 'Smashed' Program to Curb Underage Drinking in Hungary
In 2019, Diageo, the world's leading alcoholic beverage company, in cooperation with Momentán Improv Theatre, launched the Smashed program for primary and secondary school students in Hungary, which from the fall of 2021 has been available as an interactive online education platform for youngsters, teachers and parents under the name Smashed Online.

Since its launch, around 10,000 students have participated in the program, which is supported by ORFK's National Accident Prevention Committee.

The program was developed by Collingwood Learning in the United Kingdom and has been supported internationally by Diageo since its launch in 2005, and now reaches audiences in 30 countries to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking. Since 2019, Diageo has been touring the country with a series of live, interactive performances in partnership with the Momentán as part of its 10-year action plan for Society 2030: Spirit of Progress, engaging thousands of young people in the program.

In 2021, the online version was launched on the smashedonline.hu website, where Péter Kálloy Molnár and three young actors; Boldizsár Kretz (Patrik), Dániel Tar (Norbi), and Dóra Kovács (Reni), interactively convey the message to all interested parties.

"An earlier online survey for the Smashed program found years ago that Hungary has an extremely poor underage drinking situation. 80% of 14-18-year-olds in secondary school had their first drink at 15 or younger and one out of three drinks regularly," said Mónika Pais, managing director of Diageo Budapest.

At Diageo, we are committed to reducing underage drinking worldwide, so we are particularly pleased that almost 10,000 students, teachers, and parents have already participated in our Smashed program, which raises awareness of the dangers of underage drinking and the importance of responsible behavior. We hope that through the programme more and more people will learn about the importance of responsible drinking," she added.

"We are very proud to have helped make the program a success from the very beginning, especially to have been able to involve and reach so many young people. Momentán’s mission is to entertain, and we love to make the audience feel happy and light-hearted, but we also think it's important to use our tools to address serious social issues. 

Underage drinking is almost a taboo subject, and it is difficult to touch as a parent and as an educator. With Smashed, the theatre production and, since 2021, the online version, we try to address the issue in a way that is relevant to young people and strongly connected to them, and to raise awareness of the dangers of this," said Gyöngyvér Kiss, Managing Director of the Momentán Improv Theater.

"We see that the lecture and the workshops create an opportunity for a real discussion on the topic, it starts a conversation between the students involved, it gives teachers the opportunity to discuss the topic further in a class teacher lesson. And if anything is really important on the subject, it is the discussion, the opportunity to connect with each other, to feel and make each young person feel that they are not alone in their problems," she added.

Police Support

ORFK-OBB has found it increasingly important to participate in social cooperation in recent years. As a result, it is an active supporter of Diageo and Momentán’s education program through its participation in events and communication activities.

"As previous Smashed surveys have shown, underage drinking is indeed a serious problem in our country. We believe it is important that young people are confronted with the dangers of irresponsible alcohol consumption from primary school age onwards, which is why we are pleased to join this program.

We think it is an excellent way to capture the attention of young people and even help their teachers and parents to communicate the Smashed message to their students and children in an interesting, interactive, and emotive way," noted Zsolt Berzai, police lieutenant colonel, secretary general of the ORFK's National Accident Prevention Committee.

"This could also be an important point in preventing drunk driving later on, thus reducing the number of road accidents. We are pleased to see that around 10,000 people have already participated in the campaign and we will continue to do our utmost to support the communication of the program," he added.

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Budapest Business Journal

Hungary's largest and oldest source of business and financial news in English. Since 1992 it has presented essential information on Hungarian business life, including international analyses about the country. These days the BBJ newspaper is published every other week, while it releases daily business news online including premium paid content.