Introduction and Aims. In response to increasing concerns about excessive drinking among young people the Australian alcohol industry announced that it will introduce more visible standard drink labels. This study sought to examine whether young people use this information in a way that decreases, or increases, alcohol-related harms.

Design and Methods. Six focus groups with students enrolled in an undergraduate university course in a large regional city in New South Wales, recruited by direct approach on the university grounds and via an online message posted on the university bulletin board. Results: The majority of the participants reported that they are aware of the existence of standard drink labelling; notice standard drink labels; and take these into account when choosing what to purchase. However, this was predominantly to help them choose the strongest drinks for the lowest cost.

Discussion and Conclusions. This study provides initial evidence to support the view that standard drink labelling, in isolation of other modifications to product packaging and marketing, is likely to serve to further increase heavy drinking among young people.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of social marketing programs in preventing drunk driving, and how protection motivation theory (PMT) can be used to create effective anti drunk driving communications.

Design/methodology/approach – Communication and program materials aimed at reducing drunk driving were identified and gathered from English-language websites from the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, and a qualitative review was conducted.

Findings – The review provides a description of the key themes and messages being used in anti drunk driving campaigns, as well as target population, campaign components, and sources of funding. A key facet of this review is the examination of the use of PMT in social marketing campaigns designed to prevent drunk driving.

Originality/value – The review presents social marketing campaigns aimed at preventing drunk driving in English-speaking countries, and shows that PMT can be successfully used in this context. The paper provides a guide for future initiatives, as well as recommendations for social marketing practitioners.

AIMS: The study examined relationships between alcohol control policies and adolescent alcohol use in 26 countries.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional analyses of alcohol policy ratings based on the Alcohol Policy Index (API), per capita consumption and national adolescent survey data.

SETTING: Data are from 26 countries.

PARTICIPANTS: Adolescents (aged 15-17 years) who participated in the 2003 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) or national secondary school surveys in Spain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

MEASUREMENTS: Alcohol control policy ratings based on the API; prevalence of alcohol use, heavy drinking and first drink by age 13 based on national secondary school surveys; per capita alcohol consumption for each country in 2003. ANALYSIS: Correlational and linear regression analyses were conducted to examine relationships between alcohol control policy ratings and past 30-day prevalence of adolescent alcohol use, heavy drinking and having first drink by age 13. Per capita consumption of alcohol was included as a covariate in regression analyses.

FINDINGS: More comprehensive API ratings and alcohol availability and advertising control ratings were related inversely to the past 30-day prevalence of alcohol use and prevalence rates for drinking three to five times and six or more times in the past 30 days. Alcohol advertising control was also related inversely to the prevalence of past 30-day heavy drinking and having first drink by age 13. Most of the relationships between API, alcohol availability and advertising control and drinking prevalence rates were attenuated and no longer statistically significant when controlling for per capita consumption in regression analyses, suggesting that alcohol use in the general population may confound or mediate observed relationships between alcohol control policies and youth alcohol consumption. Several of the inverse relationships remained statistically significant when controlling for per capita consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: More comprehensive and stringent alcohol control policies, particularly policies affecting alcohol availability and marketing, are associated with lower prevalence and frequency of adolescent alcohol consumption and age of first alcohol use.

This research evaluated the efficacy of a high-intensity social norms media marketing campaign aimed at correcting normative misperceptions and reducing the prevalence of drinking and driving among 21-to-34-year-olds in Montana. A quasi-experimental design was used, such that regions of Montana were assigned to one of three experimental groups: social norms media marketing campaign, buffer, and control. Four random samples of Montanans between the ages of 21 and 34 were assessed at four time points over 18 months via phone surveys. Findings suggest that the social norms media campaign was successful at exposing the targeted population to social norms messages in the counties within the intervention region. Moreover, results demonstrate the campaign reduced normative misperceptions, increased use of designated drivers, and decreased drinking and driving among those young adults in counties within the intervention region. Social norms media marketing can be effective at changing drinking-related behaviors at the population level. This research provides a model for utilizing social norms media marketing to address other behaviors related to public health.

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