Effects of Alcohol Advertisements on Youth

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“Two teens dead and another hospitalized after a single car crash and police say that drinking and driving was the cause,” the news reporter continued. “Fifteen is no age to die!” Will exclaimed. “Fifteen is no age to drink and drive either,” added Oskar. “What persuades these ‘little doves’ to drink?” Susan asked. “I would blame the alcohol advertisements for that,” answered Oskar. “Hahaha....are you out of your mind? How can advertisements persuade someone to drink? You can surely think of something better,” laughed Will. I feel dizzy listening to their conversation. I never thought a quiet evening could turn into an argument over a news report and some irresponsible teenagers. However, I must admit, it made my brain do some serious thinking. Could alcohol advertisements have a negative effect on youth? Could alcohol advertisements urge young men and women to try their hand at drinking? Could alcohol advertisements indirectly be the cause of most traffic accidents that take place under the influence of alcohol? There are infinite questions.....but very few people to provide satisfactory answers. Alcohol is one of the leading drug problems among youth. Drinking results in a panoply of negative consequences, including poor grades, risky sex, alcohol addiction and car crashes. Every day, 7,000 individuals younger than 16 years of age take their first drink (Jernigan 100). While many factors may influence an underage person’s drinking decisions, including among other things parents, peers and the media, there is reason to believe that advertising also plays a role. As anyone who is a teen can attest, media is among the most powerful forces in young people’s lives today. Before graduating from high school, students spend about 18,0... ... middle of paper ... ...and Elizabeth Waiters. “Alcohol advertising and youth: a focus group analysis of what young people find appealing in alcohol advertising.” Contemporary Drug Problems 28.2 (2001): 695-715. Web. 2 April 2014. Jordan, Amy and Nicole Trentacoste. “Measuring the Time Teens Spend with Media: Challenges and Opportunities.” Media Psychology 9.1 (December 2007): 19-41. Web. 25 March 2014. Jernigan, David. “Importance of Reducing Youth Exposure to Alcohol Advertising.” Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 160.1 (2006): 100-102. Web. 28 March 2014. Saffer, Henry. “Alcohol Advertising and Motor Vehicle Fatalities.” The Review of Economics and Statistics LXXIX.3 (August 1997). n.p. Web. 25 March 2014. Saffer, Henry. “Alcohol advertising bans and alcohol abuse: An international perspective.” Journal of Health Economics 10.1 (May 1991): 65-79. Web. 31 March 2014.
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