Youth and Alcohol Advertising in the United States

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Social Work

Document 1

A fifth of the heavy drinkers on college showed signs of alcohol dependence. Consequently, heavy consumption of alcohol has implications on others besides the drinker with research showing that over eighty-seven percent of non-drinking college students reported harm caused by the drunkards on the property and other individuals (Ross et al. In today’s modern world, computers and televisions are the prominent mediums of advertising since they are to be found almost everywhere. Since most of the American youth spend most of their time-consuming media, their exposure to adverts easily influences their behavior based on what is portrayed (Jernigan et al. Since young people often have freedom and independence, they are faced with decisions regularly having to do with alcohols, drugs and automobile use.

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Research shows that advertisement of alcohol usually has a positive influence on the young people pushing them to adopt the drinking habit besides being a source of negative socialization. Most people are of the opinion that peer pressure is responsible for the youth picking up drinking habits ignoring the role played by advertising (Jernigan et al. A third of Americans do not consume alcohol while another third are moderate drinkers with the final third being regular drinkers. An interesting fact is that ten percent of those above the legal drinking age consume only 60 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States implying that the remainder is drunk by minors (Jernigan et al. Even though alcoholic producers argue that the advertisement of their product is aimed at increasing the market share and not persuading underage youth to partake in alcohol, research seems to show otherwise.

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The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been a significant contributor of funds geared towards monitoring the exposure of youth to drink in the mainstream media in the U. S. to develop measures that can be copied and implemented worldwide to curtail the exposure of underage youth to advertisements involving alcohol (Ross et al. The United States is a land of many rights and freedoms has the provision of commercial speech embedded in its constitution as part of free speech that citizens enjoy. The fact makes it impossible to impose advertising bans on the alcohol industry responsible for its self-regulation. Because the issue of issue of targeted advertisement covers the field of public health in general, there have been growing concerns.

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This resulted in public health researchers testing the efficacy of the self-regulatory placement standards of advertisement placement due to there being no objective method available for determining the potential associated with targeted advertising (Ross et al. The issue of targeted advertising can be seen in the United States experience with tobacco control especially in the case of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company vs. Among the youth drinkers, binge imbibing of alcohol remains the familiar consumption pattern, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines it as the consumption of five or more drinks in one sitting on any particular day during the past thirty days (Harding et al. The rate of binge drinking increases as one age. With the addition in age, the proportion of youth binge drinkers changes from a third at the age of thirteen to about a half at the age of fifteen to two-thirds past eighteen years.

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In a survey conducted in 2013, approximately 5. 4 million youths and young adults ranging from 12-20 years admitted engaging in binge drinking at least once a month. The use of texts played a part in the management of weight loss, smoking and diabetes among various groups including minorities and nonminority populations, the youth and the adults. Additionally, Cole-Lewis and Kershaw observed that frequency of SMS varied across the groups with some receiving one text a day while others received up to five a day. Another study conducted on the same intervention method but focusing on fourteen interventions reported positive behavioral change from thirteen studies. In both cases, the frequency with which SMSs were sent depended on the rate of the targeted behavior (Hospital et al.

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In regards to the use of SMS in controlling alcohol abuse among the young, only two published studies exist. Research shows that 75 percent of those aged between 12-17 years own mobile phones with 88 percent of those who hold phones using them for SMS. Therefore, the use of SMS technology would be crucial in curbing alcohol use and addiction among the young (Harding et al. As we have seen, advertising plays a significant role in influencing youths to start drinking which eventually leads to addiction. Dependence on alcohol often has disastrous consequences on the health of a drinker and those close to them. Alcohol use among the young shortens their lifespan and destroys their health and schooling activities if left uncontrolled. M.

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