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Is underage drinking being encouraged in alcohol advertising?

According to a recent survey, alcoholic beverages that are popular with underage drinkers are heavily advertised to young people in the magazines they like to read. According to the study, advertising seen by those who are under the age of 21 could be encouraging them to engage in underage drinking activities. The research was published in this month's edition of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

According to the man who led the research, the ads they reviewed were in compliance self-regulatory guidelines that apply to alcohol-related advertisements. The voluntary standards state that ads for alcohol must not be featured in magazines more than 30 percent of the readership is under the age of 21.

However, by looking at magazines favored by younger readers, researchers found that those magazines were more likely to include advertising for alcohol brands favored by underage drinkers. Indeed, individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 had a five to nine times higher chance of being exposed to popular brands of alcohol in the magazines they preferred than to other brands of alcohol. This is concerning to the conductors of the research due to the higher risk of this age demographic to the negative consequences of alcohol abuse.

In addition to alcoholism and death due to overconsumption of alcohol, underage drinking is also a punishable criminal offense. Indeed, underage drinkers could face expulsion from school and criminal consequences if they are found guilty of such crimes. Still, each individual who is accused of a criminal act will have the opportunity to defend him or herself against the allegations in court. Furthermore, an accused person will not face punishment or conviction until -- and only if -- he or she is proved to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Source:  wistv.com, "Teens drawn to heavily advertised alcohol brands" Jul. 08, 2014

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