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Owning alcohol-branded merchandise associated with teen drinking behaviors
Date:3/3/2009

ed among U.S. adolescents, who report obtaining the items primarily through friends and family but also through direct purchase" said Dr. McClure. "This is one of many studies linking ownership of these items to teen drinking, and the consistency of the results indicates that alcohol branded merchandise is one cause of problematic drinking during adolescence. This study shows that ownership is associated with binge drinking, a cause of death and injury during adolescence."

"In the Master Settlement Agreement, the tobacco industry gave up distributing similar items, after it was shown that they were a cause of teen smoking." said James Sargent, M.D., the senior coauthor. "It's hard to imagine an industry more irresponsible than big tobacco, but the beer industry is way behind in limiting advertising that affects teens. Anheuser-Busch could make almost half of this problem go away just by unilaterally ending distribution of Budweiser alcohol-branded merchandise."

The authors note that some 3 million teens own alcohol branded merchandise, despite a Beer Industry Code provision that "No beer identification, including logos, trademarks, or names should be used or licensed for use on clothing, toys, games or game equipment, or other materials intended for use primarily by persons below the legal drinking age," showing clearly that industry self regulation has had little effect on restraining the proliferation of these items among youth. The study is accompanied by an editorial calling for government oversight and regulation of alcohol-branded merchandise because of the failure of voluntary self regulation by the industry. "What we need is a Master Settlement Agreement with the alcohol industry," says Sargent.


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Contact: Jason Aldous
jason.aldous@hitchcock.org
603-653-1913
Dartmouth Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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