Alcohol warning advertising reduces urge to drink in young adults

StopOur study published on 8th July evidences how advertisements that warn about the health risks of alcohol have the potential to reduce alcohol consumption at the population level. There is currently limited evidence regarding the effectiveness of these advertisements, and few advertisements of this nature have been produced in the UK in recent years.

In an online pilot study of 152 young adult drinkers, we found that those who had been randomized to view alcohol warning adverts reported reduced urges to drink alcohol compared to those randomized to view either alcohol promoting or non-alcohol adverts.

This effect was fully explained by displeasure felt in response to the warning adverts, indicating that media campaigns that can produce negative affect about the health consequences of alcohol use can reduce the desire to drink.


Viewing alcohol warning advertising reduces urges to drink in young adults: an online experiment. Stautz K, Marteau TM.

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