Tuesday November 19, 2019

Society Needs to Combat Second Hand Effects of Drinking as People Suffer Alcohol’s Harm

These harms could be threats or harassment, ruined property or vandalism, physical aggression, harms related to driving

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Society, Drinking, Alcohol
An estimated 53 million adults -- experienced harm because of someone else's drinking in the last 12 months. Pixabay

Just like second-hand smoking, society needs to combat the second-hand effects of drinking as millions of people are suffering alcohol’s harm because of someone else’s drinking, warn a study led by an Indian-origin scientist.

An analysis of US national survey data showed that some 21 per cent of women and 23 per cent of men — an estimated 53 million adults — experienced harm because of someone else’s drinking in the last 12 months.

These harms could be threats or harassment, ruined property or vandalism, physical aggression, harms related to driving or financial or family problems.

The most common harm was threats or harassment, reported by 16 per cent of survey respondents, said researchers led by Madhabika B. Nayak of the Alcohol Research Group, a programme of the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California.

Society, Drinking, Alcohol
Just like second-hand smoking, society needs to combat the second-hand effects of drinking. Pixabay

The specific types of harm experienced differed by gender. Women were more likely to report financial and family problems, whereas ruined property, vandalism and physical aggression were more likely to be reported by men.

There is “considerable risk for women from heavy, often male, drinkers in the household and, for men, from drinkers outside their family,” wrote the authors in a paper published in Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Additional factors, including age and the person’s own drinking, were also important.

People younger than age 25 had a higher risk of experiencing harm from someone else’s drinking.

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Further, almost half of men and women who themselves were heavy drinkers said they had been harmed by someone else’s drinking.

Even people who drank but not heavily were at two to three times the risk of harassment, threats and driving-related harm compared with abstainers.

“Control policies, such as alcohol pricing, taxation, reduced availability, and restricting advertising, may be the most effective ways to reduce not only alcohol consumption but also alcohol’s harm to persons other than the drinker,” said Nayak. (IANS)

Next Story

Teenagers Who View Beer Ads Likely To Start Drinking: Study

Study says that beer advertisements influences underage drinking

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Beer advertisements
Beer advertisements are made in such a way that they influence underage drinking. Pixabay

Advertising budgets and strategies used by beer companies appear to influence underage drinking, suggests a new study.

The findings, published in the journal Addictive Behaviours Reports, showed that the amount of money spent on advertising strongly predicted the percentage of teenagers who had heard of, preferred and tried different beer brands.

For the study, the researchers involved over 1500 middle and high school students.

The study revealed that 99% participants had heard of Budweiser and Bud Light — the top spender on advertising, while 44 per cent said they had used the brand.

“We can’t say from this one study that advertisers are specifically targeting youth, but they are hitting them, if you look at beer ads, advertisers are using all the tricks we know work at grabbing children’s attention,” said study researcher Douglas Gentile from Iowa State University in the US.

Around 55% participants had at least one alcoholic drink in the past year, 31 per cent had one or more drinks at least once a month and 43 per cent engaged in heavy drinking.

When asked to name their two favourite TV commercials, alcohol-related ads had the highest recall (32 per cent) followed by soft drinks (31 per cent), fashion (19 per cent), automotive (14 per cent) and sports nine per cent.

Drinking beer
Most of the teenagers said in the survey that beer advertisements tempt them to try alcohol. Pixabay

A quarter of those surveyed said they owned alcohol-related products.

The study also found that teenagers are heavy consumers of media and therefore exposed to more advertising.

“Viewers or readers aren’t thinking about the message through a critical lens,” instead, audiences become immersed in a compelling story and identify with the characters, a process which leads them to unintentionally be persuaded by the messages of the story,” said study researcher Kristi Costabile.

During the study, researchers also asked teenagers about their intentions to drink as an adult.

Also Read- India’s Health System Underperforming: Niti Aayog

Advertising and parent and peer approval of drinking were all significant predictors of intention to drink.

“By understanding what influences behaviour we can design more effective prevention and intervention programmes to reduce underage drinking, which in turn could lessen the likelihood that alcohol use becomes a problem,” Brooke Arterberry said. (IANS)