Objective: Underage alcohol use is a major public health problem and substantial corporate money supports alcohol advertising across multiple venues. A diverse research literature demonstrates that adolescent exposure to such advertising is associated with drinking attitudes and behavior, but no scientific body has determined these associations to be causal. The objective of this study was to assess the association between alcohol advertising and teen drinking in the context of the “Analogy” criterion of the Bradford Hill criteria and consider a determination that the association between exposure to alcohol advertising and alcohol use is causal. Method: This study was a narrative review on the association between adolescent exposure to alcohol advertising and subsequent alcohol use in the context of domains utilized in the Surgeon Gen-eral’s 2012 Report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, which concluded, “Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have been shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.” Results: In every aspect compared (i.e., adolescent knowledge; attitudes toward; initiation of use; continuation of use; mediums of advertisement; the use of mascots, celebrities, and themes; and frequency and density of advertisements and retailers), the findings for both tobacco and alcohol and their association with exposure to advertising are analogous. Conclusions: Application of the Analogy criterion of the Bradford Hill criteria comparing alcohol and tobacco supports a judgment that the association between exposure to alcohol advertising and increased adolescent knowledge, attitudes toward, initiation, and continuation of alcohol use are causal in nature.
- Adolescent Behavior/psychology
- Alcoholic Beverages/economics
- Public Health
- Tobacco Products/economics
- Tobacco Use/psychology
- Underage Drinking/psychology
- Young Adult