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Alcohol ads and adolescents

A recent study suggests that adolescents experience heightened intentions to drink when their schools are in a neighborhood where alcohol advertisements are prominent. A team from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida recorded 931 alcohol advertisements within a 1,500-foot radius of 63 schools in the Chicago area. Students exposed to these advertisements in sixth grade were more likely to hold positive attitudes about alcohol and have stronger intentions to drink by eighth grade. Over 75 percent of the ads featured only the alcohol's brand name or price, suggesting that ads need not be directed at children for children to internalize them. Youth who drink before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking after age 18. 

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