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South African Medical Journal

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Alcohol marketing and adolescent alcohol consumption: Results from the International Alcohol Control study (South Africa)

NK Morojele, C Lombard, N Harker Burnhams, P Petersen Williams, E Nel, CDH Parry

Abstract


Background. A complete ban on alcohol advertisements has been proposed for South Africa (SA), but there has been limited local research on the association between exposure to alcohol advertisements and alcohol consumption. Objectives. To examine the role of demographic factors, exposure to alcohol marketing and liking of alcohol advertisements in predicting use of alcohol in the past 6 months among older adolescents in Tshwane, Gauteng Province, SA. Methods. Participants comprised the adolescent sub-sample (N=869) of the International Alcohol Control study survey that was conducted in SA. They consisted of 408 males and 461 females aged 16 and 17 years who took part in structured interviews on their alcohol consumption and various alcohol-related attitudes and behaviours. A multiple survey logistic regression analysis of the dependent variable alcohol use in the past 6 months on the independent variables age, gender, educational status, socioeconomic status, exposure to alcohol brand marketing and liking of alcohol advertisements was used. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. Results. The prevalence of drinking in the past 6 months was 10.6% (95% CI 5.9 - 18.3). The number of modes of alcohol brand/product advertising to which the adolescents were exposed was positively associated with alcohol use in the past 6 months. An additional mode of alcohol brand/product advertising exposure led to a relative increase of 1.13 (95% CI 1.01 - 1.28) in the odds of alcohol use in the past 6 month (e.g. a participant who was exposed to advertisements via seven different channels was 2.08 times more likely to have used alcohol in the past 6 months than a participant with exposure via a single channel). Having a strong dislike of alcohol advertisements was associated negatively (protective) with alcohol use in the past 6 months, with the odds ratio being 0.35 (95% CI 0.19 - 0.64). Having only a moderate dislike or a liking of alcohol advertisements was positively associated with alcohol use in the past 6 months among the study participants (OR 2.90 and 2.84, respectively). Age, gender, educational status and socioeconomic status were not independently associated with alcohol consumption. Conclusions. Exposure to alcohol marketing and not being strongly averse to advertisements of alcohol brands and products were associated with alcohol use among adolescents. The results have implications for policies on alcohol marketing in SA.

S Afr Med J 2018;108(9):782-788



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