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August 5, 2009

Alcohol Advertising During Televised Sports and Alcohol Consumption by Adolescents—Reply

JAMA. 2009;302(5):487-488. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1081

In Reply: Dr Turner notes that there are “no national data [for the United States] that support the assertion that underage drinking increased during the years of expanded alcohol advertising expenditures and youth exposure.” We do not disagree with him. Our argument was that alcohol advertising and promotion through televised sport was one of many significant influences on adolescents starting to consume alcohol and that empirical evidence had concluded that “alcohol advertising and promotion increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol, and to drink more if they are already using alcohol.”1 We also stated that while it may be impossible to categorically establish a causal link between a specific amount of alcohol advertising and promotion and the consumption of alcohol, the balance of the evidence to date indicates that adolescents' exposure to alcohol advertising and promotion probably does lead to underage drinking. We did not seek to argue that an increase in advertising and promotional efforts leads to an increase in alcohol consumption among adolescents.

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