Viewing alcohol warning advertising reduces urges to drink in young adults: an online experiment

Tobacco counter-advertising is effective at promoting smoking cessation. Few studies have evaluated the impact of alcohol warning advertising on alcohol consumption and possible mechanisms of effect. This pilot study aimed to assess whether alcohol warning advertising is effective in reducing urges to drink alcohol, if emotional responses to advertising explain any such effect or perceived effectiveness, and whether effects differ among heavier drinkers.

Participants exposed to alcohol warning advertisements reported significantly lower urges to drink alcohol than those who viewed either alcohol promoting or non-alcohol advertisements. In line with findings from the tobacco literature, alcohol warning advertisements that elicit negative affect reduce urges to drink alcohol. Their impact upon actual consumption awaits investigation. Read the article.

Citation: Stautz K, Marteau TM. Viewing alcohol warning advertising reduces urges to drink in young adults: an online experiment. BMC Public Health 2016; 16:530