Alcohol consumption varies from country to country. There are those who allow teenagers to drink, adults not as much, and elderly consume even more alcohol than the two prior age groups combined. Some countries are liberated enough to let the teenagers spend the night out drinking, knowing that this is one of the ways that teenagers use to relieve their stress and hang out with their friends while some still look down upon the habit of alcohol consumption.
In many countries, the youth are permitted to drink alcohol – or adults turn a blind eye to the phenomenon – which is why healthcare professionals and lawmakers find ways to lower the alcohol consumption rate. One of the ways that have been found to help lower the alcohol consumption rate in all ages is to implement the ban of alcoholic advertisements across all platforms of media. This essay will discuss the harm alcohol consumption may cause and why there is a strict ban on alcoholic beverages advertisements in some countries.
As time passes by, more and more youth are succumbing to alcohol addiction. The dangers that alcohol consumption poses expose itself in the 3 million deaths caused by alcohol consumption each year. More often than not, those who consume alcohol excessively as an adult have started drinking since their teenage years – with some starting as early as high school. This may be due to peer pressure, curiosity, or they have been influenced by what they are exposed to like family members drinking excessively and advertisements.
Alcohol consumption in teenagers often result to violence, unsafe sex, accidents, and untimely deaths. Apart from that, alcohol consumption may cause mental health problems and other serious diseases like cancer. These repercussions are unknown to most teenagers who drink too much alcohol almost every day. Studies have also shown that if a person starts drinking at an earlier age, the risk of developing concerning health risks becomes greater.
Excessive alcohol consumption does not automatically mean that one is abusing alcohol. Those who drink alcohol excessively may be those who drink under the legal age of 21, are those who are pregnant, and are binge drinkers or heavy drinkers. Excessive alcohol consumption may cause different types of cancer along with liver and heart diseases. It may also cause alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. In the long run, excessive alcohol consumption may lead to high blood pressure, stroke, weakening of the memory and immune system.
It may cause social problems as a person’s behavior may change after intoxication successfully addles the brain. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption may lead an individual to be dependent on alcohol and thus need therapy in order to recover from alcoholism. Consuming excessive alcohol may lead to the development of many harmful health conditions that people are encouraged to avoid.
5.3% of deaths in the world are attributed to alcohol consumption. In the United States alone, almost 100,000 deaths are evidence to the dangers of alcohol consumption. Even then, alcoholic beverage companies continue to advertise their products to the market in such an enticing way that everyone is drawn to drink it. Teenagers are the most susceptible to these alcoholic advertisements as the media makes it seem that alcoholic drinks will make them more cool and approachable – which every teenager is inclined to be.
To prevent the increase of the number of adults who became alcoholics, some countries enforce strict laws that prevent underage drinking. However, this is not effective on some countries. So, in an effort to further decrease the number of injuries and deaths that are related to excessive alcohol consumption, lawmakers and some alcoholic beverage companies have enforced a ban on alcohol advertisements. In the United States alone, billions are spent on alcohol advertising each year.
Banning alcohol advertisements is one of the ways that people in authority have found that may help the problem of excessive alcohol consumption especially in teenagers. The age group of youths are the ones that are most likely to be engaged with alcohol advertisements as they are the ones who us social media the most and are exposed to other forms of media like the television, radio and magazines.
Advertisements are known to effectively influence people to buy something or get into a particular activity so banning of alcohol advertisements are seen to be effective in preventing the teenagers from drinking alcoholic beverages from such a young age. Not only that but there are also studies that have shown that people who are exposed to alcohol advertising are more likely to be enticed to consume alcoholic beverages.
Why should alcohol advertisements be banned?
To address underage drinking, some countries and the law imposed a ban on alcoholic beverages advertisements in hope to lessen the number of alcohol-related deaths recorded each year. In the United States, there is an imposed 70% over 21 rule which means that an alcohol advertisement may only be shown if at least 70% of the audience is of legal drinking age. In the United Kingdom, alcohol advertisements on television and cinemas are restricted and could only be shown on films that are for adults aged 18 and above only.
Because teenagers are mostly exposed to social media than traditional media platforms like television, radio, newspapers, and magazines, social media platforms have made it a point to keep watch on alcohol advertising being posted on their sites too. They allow alcohol advertising as long as the alcohol advertisement does not blatantly nor subtly target teenagers. Although, some social media platforms have banned alcohol advertisements altogether so as to fully prevent underage children from viewing such ads.
Furthermore, alcohol advertisements found in social media that implies that consuming alcohol has health benefits and is able to help one’s social status are banned. This is to prevent teenagers from being encouraged to consume alcohol. Apart from that, children and teenagers who are exposed to alcohol advertisements are more likely to consume alcohol at an earlier age than those who are not exposed.
Studies have shown that placing alcohol advertisements before a movie in the cinema or show in the television that depicts characters that consume alcohol also increase the chance of young people consuming alcohol themselves. Exposure to alcohol advertisements have been found to have a correlation with one’s drinking habits. In addition, some companies in select countries give free alcohol to underage teenagers, this counts as alcohol advertising and also contributes to the risk of a young person in drinking at such a young age.
Alcohol advertisements even lead some teenagers to believe that consuming alcohol is the most effective way in reducing stress from their academics and making new friends. This kind of thinking among teenagers may be hard to get rid of if alcohol advertisements continue to be shown in the different platforms of media especially in social media. In the long run, excessively consuming alcohol may affect a student’s academics negatively and take away some opportunities that would have led him towards success.
Currently, many lawmakers and organizations around the world are actively doing something in regards to regulating or banning alcohol advertisements being shown in all forms of media. They are doing this to decrease the number of teenagers who drink alcohol and adults who consume alcohol excessively. They continue to find ways to solidify the set of rules they are enforcing and make it more effective as alcohol advertisers and marketers keep on finding more ways to go around the rules that have been set.
Injuries and deaths related to alcohol consumption may indeed be prevented by decreasing the amount – or completely banning – alcohol advertisements from being shown. Aside from banning alcohol advertisements, companies and lawmakers should also consider increasing the prices and taxes set for alcoholic beverages and decrease its availability and accessibility. Stricter rules should be enforced in all countries around the world to one day eradicate injuries and deaths caused by alcohol.
As the tobacco advertisements ban yielded positive results and had successfully declined people’s interest in smoking, the alcohol advertisements ban that is being enforced in many countries is hoping to achieve the same result. Governments and alcohol beverage companies have to work hand in hand to lower the risks of people getting injuries, illnesses, and deaths due to excessive alcohol drinking. There are now a number of initiatives that address alcohol advertising around the world and are already producing results.
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