SABC News - Alcohol advertising influences youth: Report:Friday 3 March 2017

Alcohol advertising influences youth: Report

Friday 3 March 2017 21:44

Thabile Mbhele

The studies call for a protection of young people from premature exposure to alcohol through advertising.

The studies call for a protection of young people from premature exposure to alcohol through advertising.(REUTERS)

Alcohol advertising has a direct influence on the drinking patterns of young people in the country. That's according to two studies conducted by the SA Medical Research Council and the Soul City Institute.

The studies looked at alcohol availability, advertising and young people's drinking patterns as well as any related sexual risks in Tanzania, India and South Africa.

The Soul City Institute has conducted a study in rural Mpumalanga and in an urban township in Gauteng to look at young people's behaviour in relation to alcohol consumption and alcohol advertising. The study involved 27 young people aged 18 to 24. The institute looked at the availability of alcohol via various outlets against the number of schools in the two communities.

“From our stud, we found that there were about 147 outlets in the township area and there were 36 schools then there were 11 alcohol selling outlets in the rural area and 11 schools. So, we saw that there is a lot of alcohol selling outlets and what was even more shocking was there are very close to schools. The law says they shouldn't be in a 500m radius,” says Lebohang Motsila from the Soul City Institute.

According to the Soul City Institute, evidence globally shows that young people exposed to alcohol advertising are likely to drink at an early age and likely to drink much more than those not exposed. Motsila says their study has supported this and shows further exposure to sexual risk of young women.

“I get into a tavern as a young person to have fun because that's where the celebrities are, promotional activities are actually done there. If celebrities come, there's actually by one get one free, there's ladies' night where they drink for free and they meet guys whom they sleep with, a lot of the guys who they meet are older than them they buy them alcohol and they expect sex. There’s a lot of transactional sex for young people or young women in particular for males they spoke about the interpersonal violence that they experience.”

The South African Medical Research Council conducted a similar study in Tshwane and found that up to 90% of young people had been exposed to alcohol advertising via television, movies, billboards, email and print media in the past six months as Prof Neo Morojele of Council elaborates: "Alcohol advertising has direct influence on the drinking patterns of young people in the country." That's according to two studies conducted by the SA Medical Research Council and the Soul City Institute. The studies looked at alcohol availability, advertising and young people's drinking patterns as well as any related sexual risks in Tanzania, India and South Africa.

The Soul City Institute has conducted a study in rural Mpumalanga and in an urban townships in Gauteng to look at young people's behaviour in relation to alcohol consumption and alcohol advertising. The study involved 27 young people aged 18 to 24. The institute looked at the availability of alcohol via various outlets against the number of schools in the two communities.

“From our study, we found that there were about 147 outlets in the township area and there were 36 schools then there were 11 alcohol selling outlets in the rural area and 11 schools. So we saw that there is a lot of alcohol selling outlets and what was even more shocking was there are very close to schools. The law says they shouldn't be in a 500m radius,” said Lebohang Motsila from the Soul City Institute.

According to the Soul City Institute evidence globally, it shows that young people exposed to alcohol advertising are likely to drink at an early age and likely to drink much more than those not exposed. Motsila says their study has supported this and shows further exposure to sexual risk of young women.

“I get into a tavern as a young person to have fun because that's where the celebrities are, promotional activities are actually done there. If celebrities come there's actually by one get one free, there's ladies night where they drink for free and they meet guys whom they sleep with, a lot of the guys who they meet are older than them they buy them alcohol and they expect sex. There’s a lot of transactional sex for young people or young women in particular for males they spoke about the interpersonal violence that they experience.”

The Soul City Institute has conducted a study in rural Mpumalanga and in an urban township in Gauteng to look at young people's behaviour in relation to alcohol consumption and alcohol advertising. The study involved 27 young people aged 18 to 24. The institute looked at the availability of alcohol via various outlets against the number of schools in the two communities.

“From our study, we found that there were about 147 outlets in the township area and there were 36 schools then there were 11 alcohol selling outlets in the rural area and 11 schools. So we saw that there is a lot of alcohol selling outlets and what was even more shocking was there are very close to schools. The law says they shouldn't be in a 500m radius,” said Lebohang Motsila from the Soul City Institute.

However there were different views from young people the SABC spoke to.

Some of the recommendations from both studies were to call on government to ensure further regulation of the industry and to protect young people from premature exposure to alcohol through advertising

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