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Alcohol Should Be Banned

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Published: Mar 13, 2024

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essay on should drinking alcohol be banned

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5 Reasons Why Alcohol Should Be Illegal Or Banned

  • 1. Addictive
  • 2. Harmful To Health
  • 3. Compromises Judgement
  • 4. Gateway Drug
  • 5. Doesn't Solve Anything
  • Treatment For Alcohol Abuse

5 Reasons Why Alcohol Should Be Illegal

From 1920 to 1933, the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages was illegal in the United States. 

The Prohibition movement ended in failure, and today there are a range of economic, social, and cultural reasons why alcohol remains available for adult purchase and consumption.

But, just because alcohol is legal, highly accessible, and celebrated does not mean that it cannot be harmful.

Here are five arguments that can be made for why alcohol should still be illegal in the United States.

1. Alcohol Is Addictive

Alcohol is a drug. It’s a central nervous system depressant with psychoactive properties, and it is addictive.

How addictive alcohol is depends on the individual, their genetics and upbringing, and other social and environmental factors. 

But, according to a 2015 study funded by the National Institutes of Health, 29.1% of Americans will meet the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder at some point in their lives, and 13.9% met the criteria in the previous year.

Heavy drinkers may develop physical dependence, leading to potentially severe or even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking all at once. These symptoms can include tremors, blood pressure changes, trouble sleeping, hallucinations, and seizures.

And for those who do stop, maintaining sobriety is often a lifelong struggle.

2. Alcohol Abuse Is Harmful To Your Health

Alcohol overdose ( alcohol poisoning ) can be fatal. If too much alcohol is absorbed from the digestive system into the bloodstream following binge drinking , heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature can fall to dangerous levels, causing brain damage and organ failure.

But, this isn’t the only way that alcohol causes harm.

Long-term, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health issues including high blood pressure , heart disease , liver disease , cancer , dementia , depression, and anxiety.

Alcohol also has devastating negative effects when consumed by pregnant mothers. Even drinking only a moderate amount of alcohol can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome or a greatly increased risk of miscarriage or serious developmental issues.  

3. Use Of Alcohol Compromises Judgement

Many of us have stories of the adventures and mistakes we’ve made under the influence of alcohol. But too often, given its ability to suppress one’s inhibitions, the over-consumption of alcohol ends in stark tragedy.

In particular, binge drinking is commonly associated with cases of:

  • drunk driving and car accidents
  • domestic violence
  • financial imprudence
  • violent crime
  • other severe accidents

And in the long term, heavy drinking can erode your relationships with family members, deaden your ability to feel pleasure from natural sources, and steal your motivation to study, work, and prosper.

4. Alcohol Is A Gateway Drug

A gateway substance is one that leads to the abuse of harder/more harmful drugs.

According to a 2012 investigation, alcohol, not tobacco or marijuana, is the primary gateway drug leading to other substances and illegal drug use among underage Americans.

And, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health, 55.3% of high school seniors (all under legal drinking age) have used alcohol in the past year.

This figure is especially concerning because, as with cannabis, alcohol use is known to have harmful developmental effects on children and teenagers, negatively impacting problem solving and memory. 

5. Alcohol Does Not Solve The Real Issues In Your Life

Many who drink alcohol do so as an escape, to mask negative feelings of stress, depression, or anxiety with intoxication and artificial feelings of well-being.

But abusing alcohol only makes these issues worse in the long run. 

As alcohol use and dependence escalate, they can lead to a spiral of increasingly negative feelings and compulsive substance abuse with no easy way out. This may continue until you’re drinking alcohol because you feel like you have to, not because you want to.

Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder

If you struggle with problematic drinking, help is available.  

Substance abuse treatment centers host programs that can help you:

  • safely detox and manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • address co-occurring mental health disorders including anxiety and depression
  • develop stress-management and coping mechanisms to help maintain your sobriety
  • consider why you’ve had difficulties with drinking in the past and make helpful changes to those feelings and thought processes
  • connect with others also working through the rehabilitation process, for mutual support and encouragement

For more information regarding inpatient or outpatient alcohol use disorder treatment programs , including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) , please contact us today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team

©2024 ark national holdings, llc. | all rights reserved., this page does not provide medical advice..

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Alcohol Use and Your Health National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - NIH study finds alcohol use disorder on the increase National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - What are symptoms of alcohol use disorder? PubMed - Alcohol as a gateway drug: a study of US 12th graders PubMed - Harmful Alcohol Use

essay on should drinking alcohol be banned

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Alcohol Should Be Banned (Argumentative Essay Sample)

Alcohol should be banned.

Alcohol is widely used and abused by many people all over the world; alcohol consumption is legal making the product easily available in liquor stores, restaurants, and all supermarkets. Traditionally, alcohol consumption is widely accepted during special occasions like family get together or for leisure. However, such traditions have been misused, causing addiction among some users.  People who abuse alcohol develop several problems affecting not only his family but also the society. The negative impact of alcohol consumption has been a constant debate as people wonder if banning of alcohol consumption would minimize some of these effects.

Alcohol contains ethanol one of the compounds used to make beverages; it is true that moderate consumption of ethanol minimizes stress, increases the feeling of happiness and even reduces the risk of acquiring coronary heart diseases.  Nevertheless, heavy consumption of ethanol mostly found in alcohol causes addiction and increases the risk of acquiring several heart diseases. Alcohol is a depressant that can easily cause addiction if taken in larger portions. Alcohol controls the body’s central nervous system and slowing down the body functions. Alcohol also alters the brain functions, causing hallucination, anxiety and other psychological problems among alcohol addicts.

Even though many people argue that alcohol consumption should be legal to the older population because of its positive effects on the economy, health care experts have raised concerns over the misuse of alcohol among teenagers during entertainment. Many deaths are caused by teenagers who drive under the influence of alcohol. Besides, alcohol consumption causes several health problems, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic illnesses like lung problem, diabetes are common even among moderate drinkers. Heavy drinking of alcohol causes psychological problems like insomnia, hallucination, confusion and anxiety.

Alcohol contributes to a larger percentage of crimes in America; more than 60 percent of crimes committed in the US, including sexual abuse, murder, and child abuse and domestic violence are all caused by heavy alcohol consumers.  There is no doubt that alcohol is the leading cause of public disorder in the modern society. Banning alcohol will not only reduce the incidences of alcohol, but also restore public order. According to several research studies, the damage caused by frequent alcohol consumption is considerable, like other drugs, alcohol causes negative effects in the brain in the long run causing addiction.

Some of the common side effects associated with alcohol consumption include poor health, lost career opportunities, broken families, and disorientated society. Many research studies have analyzed some of the long-term effects of alcohol consumption, in all the research studies reveals that alcohol consumption causes severe damage to the body in the end.  After reviewing all the study findings, there has been intense debate whether alcohol consumption should be completely banned or not. Alcohol is still a legal drug. Alcohol consumption is acceptable by law with minimal restrictions that prohibit younger people and adults from driving when under the influence of alcohol, despite the fact that alcohol consumption causes more harm to users and their loved ones in the end.

I believe that alcohol consumption should be banned and laws should protect innocent people from suffering by making alcohol consumption to be illegal. Alcohol has limited benefits, but the consequences of its misuse cause negative impact to the society. That is why I believe that alcohol needs to be banned.

essay on should drinking alcohol be banned

Addict Advice

Should Alcohol Be Banned Pros and Cons?

Alcohol has been a part of society for thousands of years, and its presence in modern society has been the cause of much debate. On one hand, it is seen as a symbol of relaxation and enjoyment, while on the other, it is seen as a source of danger and destruction. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of banning alcohol, and consider whether it should be banned or not. We’ll also discuss the potential impact of such a ban on individuals and society as a whole.

Alcohol should not be banned. There are pros and cons to drinking alcohol, and it is up to the individual to make responsible decisions. Pros include socializing and relaxation, while cons include addiction and other health risks. Moderation is key when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Pros of drinking alcohol include socializing with friends and family, relaxation, and an improved overall mood. Alcohol can also have health benefits, such as reducing the risk of developing certain diseases.

Cons of drinking alcohol include addiction, health risks, and an increased risk of certain diseases. In addition, alcohol can lead to dangerous behaviors and poor decisions.

It is important to remember that the key to responsible drinking is moderation. Individuals should be aware of the risks associated with drinking and make responsible decisions when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Pros of a Ban on Alcohol

Cons of a ban on alcohol, the effects of a partial ban on alcohol, the role of education in reducing alcohol-related harm, q1: should alcohol be banned, q2: what are the pros of banning alcohol, q3: what are the cons of banning alcohol, q4: what are the legal considerations for banning alcohol, q5: what are the economic considerations for banning alcohol, q6: how can a ban on alcohol be enforced, there’s no safe amount of alcohol, study says, should alcohol be completely banned.

Alcohol is a substance that has been consumed in societies around the world for centuries. In recent years, there has been an increase in calls to completely ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in certain countries. Proponents of this idea argue that alcohol has a negative effect on public health and safety and should be banned in order to protect the public. On the other hand, opponents of a complete ban point to the potential economic, social, and cultural implications of such a ban. This article will explore the pros and cons of a total ban on alcohol and provide some insight into this complex debate.

One of the primary arguments in favor of a complete ban on alcohol is that it would reduce public health risks. Alcohol consumption has been linked to a wide range of health problems, such as liver disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, alcohol can have a significant negative impact on mental health, leading to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. By completely banning the sale and consumption of alcohol, many of these health risks could be mitigated.

Another potential benefit of a ban on alcohol is that it could reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents. Alcohol is a factor in many car accidents, violent crimes, and other forms of risky behavior. By completely banning the sale and consumption of alcohol, the number of alcohol-related incidents could be significantly reduced. This could lead to a safer and more secure environment for everyone.

One of the primary arguments against a complete ban on alcohol is that it could have a significant impact on the economy. The sale and consumption of alcohol generate significant amounts of revenue for both businesses and governments. Banning alcohol could lead to a substantial loss of revenue for both groups and could have a negative effect on the economy.

Additionally, a ban on alcohol could have a negative impact on social life. Alcohol is often a key component of social gatherings and celebrations. Banning it could lead to a decrease in social interaction and make it more difficult for people to connect with one another. This could lead to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness, which could have serious negative implications for public health and wellbeing.

In some countries, there is a partial ban on alcohol, which limits the sale and consumption of alcohol in certain contexts. For example, some countries have restrictions on the sale of alcohol in public places, such as bars and clubs. This type of ban can help to reduce alcohol-related harm, while still allowing people to enjoy a drink in a controlled environment.

However, a partial ban on alcohol has its own drawbacks. Limiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in certain contexts can lead to an increase in illegal activities, such as the sale of alcohol on the black market. Additionally, some people may be more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as drinking and driving, when alcohol is restricted in certain contexts.

Rather than a complete ban on alcohol, many countries have implemented a range of education and awareness initiatives in order to reduce alcohol-related harm. These initiatives aim to educate people about the risks associated with alcohol consumption and provide information on how to drink responsibly. By increasing public awareness and understanding of the risks associated with alcohol, these initiatives can help to reduce alcohol-related incidents and improve public health and safety.

Additionally, initiatives that focus on the responsible sale and consumption of alcohol can help to reduce the negative impacts of alcohol on public health and safety. Regulations that require alcohol retailers to check the age of customers, for example, can help to ensure that alcohol is not sold to minors. Similarly, laws that limit the sale of certain types of alcohol, such as high-strength spirits, can help to reduce alcohol-related harm.

The debate over whether alcohol should be completely banned is a complex one, with proponents and opponents of the idea offering a range of arguments. Proponents argue that a ban on alcohol could reduce public health risks and reduce alcohol-related incidents, while opponents point to the potential economic, social, and cultural impacts of such a ban. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to implement a ban on alcohol is one that should be carefully considered, taking into account all of the potential implications.

Related Faq

A1: The pros and cons of banning alcohol are highly debated. On one hand, alcohol can have negative consequences if abused or consumed irresponsibly, such as health and safety issues. On the other hand, it can be a source of pleasure and celebration when used in moderation. Ultimately, the decision to ban alcohol should be made on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific situation.

A2: One of the major pros of banning alcohol is that it could reduce the amount of alcohol-related health problems, such as liver disease, cirrhosis, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, it could reduce the amount of alcohol-related violence and abuse, as well as the amount of alcohol-related traffic accidents. Furthermore, banning alcohol could help reduce the amount of money spent on alcohol-related activities.

A3: The cons of banning alcohol include the potential for people to find alternative means of obtaining alcohol, such as through illegal channels. Additionally, banning alcohol could lead to a decrease in the quality of life for responsible drinkers, as well as lead to a loss of revenue from taxes on alcohol. Furthermore, banning alcohol could lead to a decrease in tourism and hospitality business in areas that are reliant on alcohol sales.

A4: Depending on the jurisdiction, there could be a variety of legal considerations for banning alcohol. In some areas, it may be legal to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol, while in other areas, it may be illegal to do so. Additionally, in some areas, certain types of alcohol may be banned while others remain legal. It is important to research the local laws before attempting to ban alcohol.

A5: One of the major economic considerations for banning alcohol is the potential economic impact it could have on businesses that rely on alcohol sales, such as restaurants, bars, and liquor stores. Additionally, it could lead to a decrease in tax revenue from alcohol sales, as well as a decrease in tourism and hospitality business in areas that are reliant on alcohol sales. Furthermore, banning alcohol could lead to an increase in the cost of enforcement and other related costs.

A6: The enforcement of a ban on alcohol will depend on the jurisdiction in which it is being enforced. Generally speaking, bans on alcohol can be enforced through a variety of methods, including limiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in certain areas, increasing taxes on alcohol, and increasing enforcement of laws and regulations related to alcohol. Additionally, bans on alcohol can be enforced through public education and awareness campaigns.

In conclusion, the debate over whether alcohol should be banned is complex and multifaceted. On one hand, alcohol is associated with a myriad of negative effects, including physical, psychological, and social problems. On the other hand, it is a major source of pleasure, socialization, and revenue for many individuals and businesses. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to ban alcohol should be determined by weighing the evidence and considering the potential benefits and risks.

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essay on should drinking alcohol be banned

4 Reasons Why Alcohol Should Be Banned Or Illegal

Kimberly Langdon, M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon, M.D.

Although drinking alcohol is a popular activity, it can have serious consequences. That’s why some people think it should be banned. Banning alcohol could result in fewer alcohol-related accidents and crimes, and also reduce the rate of alcohol-induced health problems like alcohol addiction.

  • Alcohol Causes Accidents
  • Alcohol Causes Crime
  • Alcohol Harms Your Health
  • Alcohol Is Addictive

4 Reasons Why Alcohol Should Be Banned Or Illegal

Alcohol is the most popular drug in the United States. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol can have serious consequences, especially if you drink too much. About 19% of Americans struggle with excessive drinking (also called alcohol abuse ). Among Ohio residents, that rate jumps to 20.2%. 

Because drinking can lead to alcohol abuse and other issues, some people think the drug should be banned. Here are four reasons why banning alcohol could benefit public health . 

1. Alcohol Causes Accidents

Alcohol impairs your judgment and coordination. It also lowers your inhibitions, making you more likely to engage in risky behaviors. That’s why people who drink face a higher risk of burns, falls, drownings, and other accidents. 

Alcohol is also a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes. In 2017, 405 Ohio residents died in alcohol-related car accidents . You’re more likely to experience an alcohol-related crash if you binge drink. 

Binge drinking occurs when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08 percent or higher. Most women reach this BAC after having 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours, and most men reach it after having 5 or more drinks in about 2 hours. 

A “drink” is any alcoholic beverage that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of liquor. 

Banning alcohol could make it harder for people to binge drink and reduce the number of lives lost to alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents. 

2. Alcohol Causes Crime

Because alcohol impairs your judgment and lowers your inhibitions, it makes you more likely to commit various crimes, such as trespassing, vandalism, and theft. 

Theft is particularly common among people with alcohol addiction. That’s because many people with the disease experience financial difficulties because they spend so much money on alcohol. 

Regular alcohol consumption has also been linked to violent crimes, including intimate partner violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and homicide. That’s because alcohol not only affects your judgment but can also cause moodiness, irritability, and aggression. 

In addition, alcohol disrupts your ability to understand social cues. For example, you might mistake an innocent comment as an insult and respond with violence.

Many proponents of an alcohol ban claim that making alcohol illegal could reduce both violent and non-violent crimes. They also point out that alcohol has a much stronger link with violence than marijuana , which is still an illegal drug in many states. 

3. Alcohol Harms Your Health

Alcohol is a toxin that can raise your risk of serious health problems. The most common health risks associated with alcohol include:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • certain cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, esophagus cancer, liver cancer, and head and neck cancer

When left untreated, these diseases can be fatal. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 95,000 Americans die of alcohol-related deaths each year. 

Regular alcohol use can also weaken your immune system and leave you more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

Alcohol Poisoning

Even if your alcohol use does not lead to a disease, it could cause alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning (also called an alcohol overdose) is a life-threatening condition that occurs when you drink too much alcohol. Common symptoms include:

  • slow heart rate
  • slow or irregular breathing
  • low body temperature                          
  • pale, clammy, or bluish skin
  • trouble remaining conscious
  • seizures 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol poisoning causes about 2,200 American deaths per year. An alcohol ban could reduce these and other alcohol-related deaths. 

4. Alcohol Is Addictive

Like other harmful drugs, alcohol is highly addictive. In 2017, about 6% of Ohio residents aged 12 and older experienced alcohol addiction (also called alcohol use disorder). This disease makes you feel unable to control your alcohol use. 

Common symptoms of alcohol use disorder include:

  • experiencing strong cravings for alcohol
  • drinking alcohol in unsafe situations, such as when you’re driving
  • neglecting your personal hygiene
  • needing an increasingly larger or more frequent amount of alcohol to feel the desired effects (also called tolerance)
  • experiencing mood swings
  • avoiding friends and family members so you can spend more time drinking alcohol
  • losing motivation at work or school
  • losing interest in activities you once enjoyed

When left untreated, the disease can wreak havoc on your life. Some of the most common negative effects of alcohol addiction include damaged relationships, job loss, and homelessness. Banning alcohol could save many people from addiction and its consequences. 

If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol use or another type of drug use, please contact Ohio Recovery Center . Our substance abuse treatment providers offer personalized, evidence-based services such as medical detox , mental health counseling, and medication-assisted treatment .

  • 24/7 Tempo - Drunkest States in America https://247tempo.com/drunkest-states-in-america/
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Alcohol Poisoning Deaths https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/alcohol-poisoning-deaths/index.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Alcohol Use and Your Health https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Alcohol's Effects on the Body https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohols-effects-body
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Alcohol Facts and Statistics https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics#:~:text=Alcohol%2DRelated%20Emergencies%20and%20Deaths%20in%20the%20United%20States&text=An%20estimated%2095%2C000%20people%20

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  • How Ohio Mothers Used Alcohol During Covid-19
  • Does Moderate Drinking Have Health Benefits?

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Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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essay on should drinking alcohol be banned

Many shelves of alcoholic beverages in a store.

Is drinking good for you in any way? If not, why is alcohol legal for adults?

essay on should drinking alcohol be banned

Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine; Weiner Hailey Family Professor, Tufts University

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Margie Skeer receives funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and from the AB InBev Foundation.

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essay on should drinking alcohol be banned

Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to [email protected] .

Is alcohol consumption of any benefit to humans? If not, why aren’t we thinking about banning it forever? – Lamiah S., Kerala, India

Scientists have been trying to figure out whether alcoholic beverages can be good for your health for a long time, often reaching contradictory conclusions .

What is clear is that wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages can be bad for you for many reasons. That’s especially true for people who frequently drink heavily .

The effects of drinking alcohol , which is made by fermenting the sugars found in grapes, barley, potatoes and other plants, vary according to how much someone consumes. Other factors, such as how much food people eat ahead of time or how much they weigh, also play a role.

Drinking too much in a short period of time can make someone drunk and more likely to get injured – whether by falling down, crashing a car or getting into a fight. Alcohol poisoning , also known as alcohol overdose, is one instance of how excessive drinking can be deadly.

When people frequently drink too much, their bodies start to depend on alcohol, and then their brains give them signals to want to drink most of the time. This is called having an alcohol use disorder , which is the medical term for alcoholism or being addicted to alcohol. They can also develop other long-term problems, such as liver disease . Research has also found very strong links between alcohol and cancer , even at lower levels of drinking.

When teens and young adults frequently drink too much, it can change their brains – possibly making them less inhibited and more impulsive .

However, for many years, experts believed that drinking small amounts of alcohol boosts adult health. Some studies suggested that a few glasses of wine every week might reduce the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease – a common cause of memory loss and dementia. However, many factors can offset any possible benefits , and other researchers have reached contradictory findings .

About two-thirds of U.S. adults drink alcoholic beverages. Most consume them in moderation , meaning one or fewer standard drinks per day for women and two or fewer for men .

However, there are about 95,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in this country , and the number of deaths is rising . More scientists are saying now that any amount of alcohol can harm human health .

Why it’s legal

The main reason why alcohol remains legal in the U.S. – despite mounting evidence of the harm it can cause – is that banning it a century ago failed.

In 1920, following passage of the Constitution’s 18th Amendment , the federal government prohibited the making, shipping and sale of alcoholic beverages. Prohibition , as this time was known, responded in large part to concerns that drinking caused family strife, as well as other reasons like reducing worker productivity.

Prohibition initially helped reduce alcohol consumption . But it also bolstered the illegal liquor trade. This practice, called “ bootlegging ,” created new problems.

National alcohol prohibition ended in 1933 with the passage of the 21st Amendment . Some states continued to ban liquor for decades, and to this day many local restrictions are in effect.

Even though alcohol is legal for adults, children and teens should completely avoid alcoholic beverages . Generally people should also not start drinking alcohol because they think it might be good for their health . And adults who choose to drink should do so in moderation and understand the risks.

After all, drinking alcohol isn’t the only unhealthy habit that could have some benefits. For example, cake and ice cream are high in calories and low in nutrients. Yet many people enjoy eating sweet things that taste good, and having a little dessert sometimes is generally not harmful in small amounts .

Hello, curious kids! Do you have a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to [email protected] . Please tell us your name, age and the city where you live.

And since curiosity has no age limit – adults, let us know what you’re wondering, too. We won’t be able to answer every question, but we will do our best.

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Alcohol Use Should Be Banned Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Law , Prohibition , Alcoholism , Society , Alcohol , Life , Criminal Justice , Violence

Words: 1700

Published: 03/11/2020

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There is no doubt that alcohol consumption leads to undesired behavior in the people who seek to find emotional and social release in their strenuous lives. Many individuals consume alcohol and believe that there are no long term effects of the substance on their bodies and on the lives of the people in their lives. But, alcohol use is dangerous to the users as the excessive use of alcohol causes people to become violent, careless and suicidal. A number of individuals consume alcohol because they believe that alcohol is a means of entertainment or relaxation. However, the consumption of alcohol leads to a life of alcoholism which damages the physical and psychological structure of the body. Levine & Reinarman (2004) notes that “alcohol control reduces substantially if not eliminate the illegal drug business and most of the crime, violence, and corruption associated with it,” (Levine & Reinarman, n.p).Therefore, alcohol should be illegal as it is responsible for many serious offences. Arguably, alcohol is one of the worst drugs in the society, but it is the one of the easiest to acquire. Since the early 1900s, alcohol use has been a contentious problem in the history of the United States. Many people saw alcohol as an evil scourge in the society, yet its use is legal for those individuals over the age of consent. Of course, the legality of alcohol also makes it available to young people under the age of alcohol. The fact that alcohol is legal makes it available in the homes and schools. Under-aged drinkers find their parents with the alcohol in their homes and they consume the alcohol which leads to an addiction in the near future. The irresponsible and careless actions of the parents lead to the ultimate arguments that alcohol should be banned because of its ease of action and consumption. The fact is that too many immature individuals consume alcohol and they do not look at the consequences of alcohol consumption. When one abused alcohol, “they could get in a car and kill others, damage property, be sexually assaulted, or even just make a complete ass of themselves,” (Should We Ban Alcohol, n.p). Clearly, the effect of alcohol is so great that, alcohol consumption does not add any positive values to the society. One may argue that simple intake of alcohol can do no harm to the physical or medical structure of the body. That assumption is quite true, but the problem of alcohol is more than one sip of the beverage. In fact, one sip of an alcoholic beverage can become addicting and that it is what leads to the increased danger to the society. One could say that alcohol consumption impairs the sound judgment and cause cirrhosis of the liver. Still, individuals choose to consume alcohol because everybody else is doing it. The harsh truth is that people consume alcohol because of age restrictions. Consequently, the need to fit into the society surpasses the need to make sound judgments about negative actions. As a result, the laws showed ensure that there is no consumption of the alcohol as they reinstate the ban on the consumption of alcohol. The reality is that the only way to remove the use of the substance from the society is to completely remove the alcohol from the markets and the reach of individuals on a whole. What is the point of keeping a substance on the market that will ultimately kill individuals? Some may argue that only adults over the age of twenty-one should be allowed to consume alcohol because they are responsible. But, how many accidents do theses responsible individuals cause on the roads each day? Based on the article, “The Pros and Cons of Prohibition” the prohibition of alcohol is important as a ban on alcohol limits and prevents all forms of alcohol addition, (The Pros and Cons of Prohibition, n.p.).” In addition, the article suggests that alcohol addiction “ruin[s] people’s lives, including their jobs, their friends, and their families,” (The Pros and Cons of Prohibition, n/p.). Why then should the laws of the land encourage individuals’ to continue to act as destructive elements in the society when they could prevent it from happening otherwise? Since the dawn of time the concern of drug use has a legal and moral element. If the use of alcohol is legal, then individuals will gravitate towards its use, and there will be an increase in the number of alcoholics. Many individuals believe that because the laws allow an individual to consume alcohol, then they must do so. This blind belief leaves individuals with the concept that they must drink and drive, or drink and become violent. But, this should not be so. The legality of alcohol encourages people to drink and commit immoral acts such as lying and cheating on their spouses. Many individuals argue that the laws should not dictate the way people live their lives, but with the irresponsible actions of those who consume alcohol, the laws must intervene to help to curb the way people abuse alcohol. “A number of researchers point out that most Americans drink alcohol regularly for celebratory occasions or to satisfy their thirst,” (Alcohol Facts and Statistics, 2014). The fact is that many Americans see alcohol consumption as a harmless activity; nevertheless this uncomplicated act lends itself to an increase in the need for alcohol. In addition, the “prevalence of drinking in 2012, [showed that 87.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime,” (Alcohol Facts and Statistics, n.p). Similarly, “seventy-one percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.3 percent reported that they drank in the past month,” (Alcohol Fact and Statistics, n.p.). These facts suggest that there is a cause for concern in the society. Further statistics show that in 2012, approximately twenty-five percent of people ages over eighteen years old reported that they indulged in binge drinking within the past month; seven percent noted that engage in heavy drinking in the past month, (Alcohol Fact and Statistics, n.p). In addition, the well thinking individual wants to live in a society that is productive but this productivity cannot become a reality if there is a society that has a large number of its citizens consuming alcohol and showing up late for work. In addition, there will be an increase in the number of domestic and physical abuse cases. Although some advocates for alcohol legality suggests that alcohol can help the economy in a positive way. But, the harsh reality is that the legality of alcohol in the society increases its uses and decreases productivity, as the more one drinks, the less work he gets done. There is no doubt that the government should place a ban on the use and distribution of alcohol as there are many negative repercussions with the use of alcohol. Arguably, the country would benefit more from making alcohol unavailable. The absence of alcohol in the society, worked for many years, and the society continued to improve in its productive ways. Therefore, if there is a ban on the substance there will continue to be a growth in the economy and a decline in the number of road fatalities and alcohol induced problems. Blocker (2006) writes that the issue with alcoholism goes back as far as the 1900s. The Prohibition served as a framework to the ban on the use of alcohol. The ban was later repealed but by the end of the twentieth century, “two thirds of the alcohol consumed by Americans was drunk in the home or at private parties,” (Blocker, p.3). Yet, this domesticated drinking pattern has come into the wider society, and now, in the twentieth first century, the rate of alcohol consumption has increased drastically. The result of this increase is the severe negative consequences in the society. In the past prohibition helped effect a number of positive effects in the society, and therefore, these changes can continue if the law bans the use and sale of alcohol. While Edward Brecher notes that “alcohol [has] important medicinal or social uses,” (Brecher, par.1) individuals continue to misuse the substance on a regular basis. In concluding, the alcohol use should be banned as alcohol consumption contributes to the increase in domestic violence, community violence, accidents on the roads, and road fatalities. People have been entrusted with the right to drink, but have been abusing this right throughout the decades; as a result, there should be a ban on the use of alcohol. While one may say that alcohol increases the economic growth and development in the country as sales of alcoholic beverages often increase with the seasons and the festivities.

Works Cited

“Alcohol Facts and Statistics,” (2014) NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Viewed at: < http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol- consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics > Accessed October 29, 2014. Blocker, Jack S. Jr. Ph.D. (2006, February) “Did Prohibition Really Work?” Alcohol Prohibition as a Public Health Innovation Am J Public Health. 2006 February; 96(2): 233–243. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.065409 Viewed at <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470475/pdf/0960233.pdf> Accessed October 29, 2014 Brecher, Edward (1972) “The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs” by Edward M. Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports Magazine, 1972 Chapter 33. Why Alcohol Should Not Be Prohibited Viewed at <http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/cu/cu33.html> Accessed October 29, 2014. Levine, Harry G. & Reinarman, Craig (2004), Alcohol prohibition and drug prohibition. Lessons http://www.cedro-uva.org/lib/levine.alcohol.html> Accessed October 29, 2014 “The Pros and Cons of Prohibition” Phil for Humanity – A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World Society and Yourself. Viewed at <www.philforhumanity.com> Accessed October 29, 2014.

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essay on should drinking alcohol be banned

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Should Alcohol Be Banned?

12 Keys - JourneyPure » Blog » Should Alcohol Be Banned?

Did you know that more people die each year from alcohol-related accidents and health problems than any other psychoactive substance? Although alcohol is one of the most powerfully addictive drugs, its legality also makes it the most widely available. Walk into any city or town in America, and chances are you could get a drink within minutes. Is it time to consider why alcohol should be illegal?

The Risks of Drinking Alcohol

For many, taking a sip of the first drink leads to a lifetime of health problems, failed relationships, reputation troubles and more. Consider these facts:

  • Alcohol is as addictive as many illegal drugs.
  • Alcohol is a contributing factor in many — if not most — violent crimes.
  • Alcohol is proven to cause serious long-term health problems and is linked to numerous life-threatening diseases.
  • Abusing alcohol can lead to addiction, a disease that can end in overdose and death.
  • Innocent people die from the actions of those who abuse alcohol every day.

Despite these facts, banning alcohol is unlikely because:

  • Prohibition didn’t work. Bootleggers and gangsters distributed low-quality alcohol in a lawless, unregulated market.
  • Alcohol is part of our culture, for better or worse. From France and Japan to California and Kentucky, diverse cultures use — and often celebrate — alcohol.
  • We need the money. Taxes on beer, wine, and spirits account for a significant portion of government revenue. Distilleries and vineyards employ thousands of people in the U.S. alone. Prohibiting the sale of alcohol puts those funds in the hands of traffickers.
  • Banning alcohol limits freedom. Although thousands of people die every year from alcohol and alcohol-related incidents, millions more use alcohol responsibly.

Protecting Yourself Against Alcoholism

You already know you can protect yourself from developing an alcohol problem by limiting how much you drink. Did you know, though, that even moderate amounts of alcohol can negatively affect sleep patterns, liver health and more — especially if you live with a mental or behavioral health disorder such as depression or you take prescription medication. How much is too much?

If you are of legal age, and you are in good health, you can safely drink between seven and 14 alcoholic beverages per week. Women cannot metabolize as much alcohol as men, and in general, should not consume more than one or two drinks per day; men can have two drinks per day safely.

It’s important to understand that the seven-to-14-drink guideline doesn’t mean you can have seven or 14 drinks all at once. Not only will that lead to intoxication, binge drinking is closely associated with alcoholism, violence and serious health problems.

If you are an older adult, limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day. Mental and behavioral health disorders such as depression, bipolar and anxiety also put you at risk for developing a substance abuse problem if you drink. Plus, many prescription medications react negatively with alcohol, so make sure you check with your physician before you have your next glass of wine.

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Restricting or banning alcohol advertising to reduce alcohol consumption in adults and adolescents

Nandi siegfried.

University of Cape Town, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Education Centre, Valkenberg HospitalPrivate Bag X1, Observatory, Cape TownSouth Africa, 7925

University of California, San Francisco, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, San FranciscoUSA,

David C Pienaar

Western Cape Government, Health, 1st floor, Norton Rose HouseRiebeek Street, Cape TownSouth Africa, 8000

John E Ataguba

University of Cape Town, Health Economics Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Observatory7925, Cape TownSouth Africa,

Jimmy Volmink

Stellenbosch University, Centre for Evidence‐based Health Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, PO Box 19063Tygerberg, Cape TownSouth Africa, 7505

South African Medical Research Council, South African Cochrane Centre, PO Box 19070Tygerberg, Cape TownSouth Africa, 7505

Tamara Kredo

Mlenga jere.

University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, Breakwater CampusPortswood Road, Green Point 8001, Cape TownSouth Africa,

Charles DH Parry

South African Medical Research Council, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Unit, PO Box 19070, TygerbergSouth Africa, 7505

University of Stellenbosch, Department of Psychiatry, Tygerberg 7505South Africa,

Alcohol is estimated to be the fifth leading risk factor for global disability‐adjusted life years. Restricting or banning alcohol advertising may reduce exposure to the risk posed by alcohol at the individual and general population level. To date, no systematic review has evaluated the effectiveness, possible harms and cost‐effectiveness of this intervention.

To evaluate the benefits, harms and costs of restricting or banning the advertising of alcohol, via any format, compared with no restrictions or counter‐advertising, on alcohol consumption in adults and adolescents.

Search methods

We searched the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group Specialised Register (May 2014); CENTRAL (Issue 5, 2014); MEDLINE (1966 to 28 May 2014); EMBASE (1974 to 28 May 2014); PsychINFO (June 2013); and five alcohol and marketing databases in October 2013. We also searched seven conference databases and www.clinicaltrials.gov and http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/ in October 2013. We checked the reference lists of all studies identified and those of relevant systematic reviews or guidelines, and contacted researchers, policymakers and other experts in the field for published or unpublished data, regardless of language.

Selection criteria

We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, controlled before‐and‐after studies and interrupted time series (ITS) studies that evaluated the restriction or banning of alcohol advertising via any format including advertising in the press, on the television, radio, or internet, via billboards, social media or product placement in films. The data could be at the individual (adults or adolescent) or population level.

Data collection and analysis

We used the standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration.

Main results

We included one small RCT (80 male student participants conducted in the Netherlands and published in 2009) and three ITS studies (general population studies in Canadian provinces conducted in the 1970s and 80s).

The RCT found that young men exposed to movies with a low‐alcohol content drank less than men exposed to movies with a high‐alcohol content (mean difference (MD) ‐0.65 drinks; 95% CI ‐1.2, ‐0.07; p value = 0.03, very‐low‐quality evidence). Young men exposed to commercials with a neutral content compared with those exposed to commercials for alcohol drank less (MD ‐0.73 drinks; 95% CI ‐1.30, ‐0.16; p value = 0.01, very‐low‐quality evidence). Outcomes were assessed immediately after the end of the intervention (lasting 1.5 hours), so no follow‐up data were available. Using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach, the quality of the evidence was rated as very low due to a serious risk of bias, serious indirectness of the included population and serious level of imprecision.

Two of the ITS studies evaluated the implementation of an advertising ban and one study evaluated the lifting of such a ban. Each of the three ITS studies evaluated a different type of ban (partial or full) compared with different degrees of restrictions or no restrictions during the control period. The results from the three ITS studies were inconsistent. A meta‐analysis of the two studies that evaluated the implementation of a ban showed an overall mean non‐significant increase in beer consumption in the general population of 1.10% following the ban (95% CI ‐5.26, 7.47; p value = 0.43; I 2 = 83%, very‐low‐quality evidence). This finding is consistent with an increase, no difference, or a decrease in alcohol consumption. In the study evaluating the lifting of a total ban on all forms of alcohol advertising to a partial ban on spirits advertising only, which utilised an Abrupt Auto‐regressive Integrated Moving Average model, the volume of all forms of alcohol sales decreased by 11.11 kilolitres (95% CI ‐27.56, 5.34; p value = 0.19) per month after the ban was lifted. In this model, beer and wine sales increased per month by 14.89 kilolitres (95% CI 0.39, 29.39; p value = 0.04) and 1.15 kilolitres (95% CI ‐0.91, 3.21; p value = 0.27), respectively, and spirits sales decreased statistically significantly by 22.49 kilolitres (95% CI ‐36.83, ‐8.15; p value = 0.002). Using the GRADE approach, the evidence from the ITS studies was rated as very low due to a high risk of bias arising from a lack of randomisation and imprecision in the results.

No other prespecified outcomes (including economic loss or hardship due to decreased alcohol sales) were addressed in the included studies and no adverse effects were reported in any of the studies. None of the studies were funded by the alcohol or advertising industries.

Authors' conclusions

There is a lack of robust evidence for or against recommending the implementation of alcohol advertising restrictions. Advertising restrictions should be implemented within a high‐quality, well‐monitored research programme to ensure the evaluation over time of all relevant outcomes in order to build the evidence base.

Does banning or restricting advertising for alcohol result in less drinking of alcohol?

Review question

In this review we ask the question whether banning or restricting the advertising of alcohol in any form will lead to people drinking less alcohol. The form of the ban could include banning alcohol advertisements on television, the internet or billboards, or in magazines. We were also interested in the harms that banning advertisements may cause, such as reducing profits in the alcohol and advertising industries, and whether governments would lose taxes if alcohol purchases went down after a ban.

The misuse of alcohol is a significant risk factor for ill health, injury (e.g. through violent behaviour or road traffic collisions), death and social problems around the world. Advertising to promote the drinking of alcohol is widespread. Banning or restricting the advertising of alcohol has been suggested as a possible way to lower the use of alcohol in the general public and to stop young people from starting drinking at an early age.

Study characteristics

The evidence we present is current to May 2014. We found four studies that evaluated the restriction or banning of alcohol advertising via any format. One was a small randomised controlled trial (RCT) that evaluated drinking behaviour in 80 young men in the Netherlands exposed to movies with either a high or low alcohol content combined with a commercial with either a neutral content (interpreted as a ban on alcohol advertising) or a high alcohol content. The other three studies were interrupted time series (ITS) studies. ITS studies are studies in which changes, usually in the general public, are measured at various points before, during and after an intervention such as a change in policy. Two of the three ITS studies evaluated what happened after an advertising ban was introduced by two different Canadian provincial governments. The third ITS study evaluated what happened after a ban was lifted after being in place for 50 years in another Canadian province. Each study evaluated a different category of ban (either partial or full).

None of the above studies were funded by the alcohol or advertising industries.

Key results

The data arising from the included studies did not show a clear effect either for or against the banning or restriction of alcohol advertising.

In the RCT, young men who watched movies with a low‐alcohol content drank less than men who watched movies with a high‐alcohol content. Young men exposed to commercials with a neutral content compared with those exposed to commercials for alcohol drank less. The trial was one and a half hours, so we do not know how long beyond the trial these effects lasted. The trial did not report on any harmful outcomes.

The results from the three ITS studies were inconsistent. We statistically combined the results of the two studies that assessed what happened after a ban was introduced. This showed an overall increase in beer consumption in the general population following the introduction of the ban, but the results were uncertain and could also be consistent with no difference or an overall decrease in alcohol consumption. The third ITS study, which evaluated the lifting of a total ban on all forms of alcohol advertising to a ban on spirits advertising only, also found uncertain results. None of the studies reported on any harms arising from the bans.

Quality of the evidence

Overall we judged the quality of evidence to be very low in the RCT. This was based on the fact that there were problems with the study methodology, the population included men only and the results were not very accurate. In the ITS studies, the quality was also judged to be very low due to problems with the study methodology and the results not being precise.

Conclusions

The review cannot recommend for or against banning alcohol advertising. Governments that are considering implementing alcohol advertising bans would be advised to implement the ban in a research environment and monitor the effects over time to build the evidence base.

Summary of findings

Summary of findings for the main comparison.

Non‐alcohol commercials compared to alcohol commercials for reduction of alcohol consumption

1 Risk of bias: rated as serious. In the Engels 2009 trial, randomisation was inadequate (the groups differed on the baseline prognostic factor prior drinking levels), allocation concealment was unclear and the researchers were not blinded to group allocation so detection bias may be present. 2 Indirectness: rated as serious. The trial is specific to young men from a university setting in a high‐income country and may not be generalisable to other settings. 3 Imprecision: rated as serious: The 95% CI is wide and the sample size small.

Summary of findings 2

Alcohol ban compared to no ban for the general population

1 Risk of bias: rated as serious: the risk of a dilution effect is present in both studies ( Ogborne 1980 and Smart 1976 ) and seasonality may not be adequately addressed in the analyses. The studies were not further downgraded for limitations in causal inference due to a lack of randomisation, as the initial GRADE rating commenced at low quality. 2 Inconsistency: rated as serious. The results from the Smart 1976 study indicate a reduction in beer consumption after implementing a ban on advertising and Ogborne 1980 shows an increase in beer consumption.

Description of the condition

Alcohol is estimated to be the fifth leading risk factor for global disability‐adjusted life years (DALYs) for all ages and sexes ( Lim 2012 ). This estimate has increased by 32% from 1990 to 2010 ( Lim 2012 ). For people aged 15 to 49 years, alcohol is the leading risk factor for DALYs worldwide ( Lim 2012 ). Over 2.7 million deaths (95% uncertainty index 2,464,575 to 3,006,459) are attributed to alcohol use linked to injury (intentional, unintentional and transport), cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis, cancer, mental and behavioural disorders, human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, tuberculosis, and neurological disorders ( Lim 2012 ). Alcohol affects not only the health of the drinking individual, but in pregnant women the neurotoxic effects of alcohol may cause a range of congenital defects including foetal alcohol spectrum disorders and foetal death, stillbirth, and infant and child mortality ( Burd 2012 ).

In addition to its effects on mortality and morbidity, alcohol has significant adverse social and economic effects. A 2006 review of studies estimating the global economic burden of alcohol found that alcohol accounts for 1.3% to 3.3% of total health costs, 6.4% to 14.4% of total public order and safety costs, 0.3 to 1.4 per thousand USD of gross domestic product (GDP) for criminal damage costs, 1.0 to 1.7 per thousand USD of GDP for drink‐driving costs and 2.7 to 10.9 per thousand USD of GDP for workplace costs (absenteeism, unemployment and premature mortality) ( Baumberg 2006 ).The authors of the review caution readers to consider the methodological differences between studies and inherent design limitations, but these findings are supported by a 2009 analysis conducted in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). This aggregate analysis of reviews of published work found that costs associated with alcohol amounted to 1% of GDP in high‐income and middle‐income countries, with social harm accounting for the greater proportion of these costs, in addition to health costs ( Rehm 2009 ). In a 2010 UK multicriteria decision analysis to assess the relative harms of 20 drugs, harms both to the user and others were greatest for alcohol compared with all other drugs, including heroin and cocaine. Harms assessed included crime, family adversity and a decline in social cohesion within communities ( Nutt 2010 ).

In an overview of systematic reviews and quantitative meta‐analyses, Rehm and colleagues evaluated the evidence for a causal impact of average volume of alcohol consumption and pattern of drinking on diseases and injury, and quantified those relationships identified as causal ( Rehm 2010 ). Their findings indicate that alcohol is causally related to many chronic and acute disease outcomes as well as to injury. They report that there is evidence that both the average volume and specific drinking pattern are causally related to ischaemic heart disease, foetal alcohol syndrome, and both intentional and unintentional injury. They postulate that episodes of heavy drinking are likely to influence additional disease outcomes but that epidemiological research to date has had a limited focus on drinking patterns. Due to an absence of research, they were unable to conclude whether the quality of alcohol is a significant factor in disease outcomes.

Description of the intervention

One of the main aims of commercial advertising is to encourage the consumer to use and purchase promoted products. In their extensive 2009 review of the effectiveness and cost‐effectiveness of alcohol policies and programmes, Anderson, Chisholm and Fuhr report that alcohol is increasingly marketed using sophisticated advertising in the mainstream media, through the linking of alcohol brands to sports and cultural activities, through sponsorships and product placements, and through direct marketing such as on the internet, and via podcasts and mobile telephones ( Anderson 2009 ). Alcohol marketing campaigns have recently targeted social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are disproportionately used by young people ( Hastings 2013 ). In a systematic review of 13 longitudinal studies of 38,000 young people, Anderson et al found that longitudinal studies consistently suggest that there is an association between exposure to media/commercial communications and alcohol and adolescents starting to drink alcohol, and with increased drinking among baseline drinkers ( Anderson 2009a ). In another systematic review of seven cohort studies of young people, Smith and Foxcroft suggest that while there is an association between exposure to alcohol advertising or promotional activity and subsequent alcohol consumption in young people, the modest effect sizes may be limited by the potential influence of residual or unmeasured confounding in the included studies ( Smith 2009 ). Snyder et al, in their longitudinal investigation, found empirical evidence to suggest that exposure to advertising has direct measurable effects on both drink initiation and consumption levels ( Snyder 2006 ).

In their 2008 independent review of the effects of alcohol pricing and promotion for the UK Department of Health, Booth and colleagues identify the methodological complexity of linking advertising to consumption ( Booth 2008 ). Cross‐sectional studies will fail to meet the causality criteria of temporality (the intervention predates the effect), and cohort studies and time series analyses may be prone to confounding unless adequately controlled. In addition, they point out that subpopulations such as problem drinkers are likely to be under‐represented in general population aggregated data, which are primarily used in national or state‐level studies. Despite these methodological limitations, they conclude that there is evidence for an effect of alcohol advertising on underage drinkers and that exposure to television, music videos and billboards that contain alcohol advertising predict the onset of youth drinking and increased drinking ( Booth 2008 ).

How the intervention might work

Prevention strategies to reduce the quantity of alcohol consumed and the age of initiation of alcohol use include several public health interventions targeted at the general population. One such strategy is the restriction or banning of all forms of advertising of alcohol. The reduction in marketing may be voluntary and implemented by the alcohol, media or advertising industries, or mandatory and implemented by government decree.

Theoretically, a restriction or banning of alcohol advertising may reduce the consumption of alcohol across the general population and may raise the age of initiation of drinking in young people. In their 2001 international comparison of bans on the broadcast advertising of alcohol in 17 Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development (OECD) countries between 1977 and 1995, Nelson and Young report that there are several theoretical models of advertising, including social learning theory, which argues that advertising contributes to normalising perceptions of drinking in society ( Nelson 2001 ). They also describe conflicting economic theories, with advertising either increasing or decreasing consumption because it affects both demand and the levels of prices that sellers find optimal. They warn that partial bans on advertising using specific forms of media may drive substitution towards other advertising media ( Nelson 2001 ).

In their review of policies and programmes, Anderson et al indicate that making alcohol less available and more expensive, and placing a ban on alcohol advertising are the most cost‐effective ways to reduce the harm caused by alcohol ( Anderson 2009a ). However, little evidence is provided to support the statement on banning alcohol advertising. The authors acknowledge that in regions where alcohol marketing relies on self regulation (rather than regulatory banning or restrictions), several studies show that these voluntary systems do not prevent marketing content directed at young people. In another study of pooled time series data from 20 countries over a 26‐year period, the authors' primary conclusion was that alcohol advertising bans decrease consumption by 5% to 8% ( Saffer 2002 ). Similarly, a cross‐sectional study in the emerging market context of Brazil found evidence of association, but not causation, between alcohol consumption and alcohol promotion ( Pinsky 2010 ).

Why it is important to do this review

In the 2012 Global Burden of Disease report, the authors state that public policy to improve the health of populations will be more effective if policies address the major causes of disease burden. They argue that small reductions in population exposure to large risks will yield substantial health gains ( Lim 2012 ). Reducing or banning alcohol advertising may reduce exposure to the very large risk posed by alcohol both to the individual and to the general population. To date, no systematic review has evaluated the effectiveness, possible harms and cost‐effectiveness of this intervention. This Cochrane review aims to evaluate, in a systematic manner, the benefits and harms of reducing or banning alcohol advertising and the cost‐effectiveness of such an intervention.

To evaluate the benefits, harms and costs of restricting or banning the advertising of alcohol, via any format, compared with no restrictions or counter‐advertising, on alcohol consumption in adults and adolescents

Criteria for considering studies for this review

Types of studies.

We considered both general population‐level studies (where aggregate data from regions are collated before and after a reduction of or ban on advertising) and individual‐level studies (where participants may be randomised to different levels of advertising and their subsequent consumption measured) to be applicable to the review.

General population level

  • Randomised controlled trials (RCTs)
  • Controlled clinical trials (CCTs)
  • Prospective cohort studies
  • Retrospective cohort studies if baseline exposure data were collected at time of baseline of study
  • Controlled before and after (CBA) studies, including econometric studies
  • there were at least three time points before and after the intervention, irrespective of the statistical analysis used
  • the intervention occurred at a clearly defined point in time
  • the study measured provider performance or participant outcome objectively

Individual level

  • Retrospective cohort studies if baseline data were collected at time of baseline of study
  • CBA cross‐sectional studies

ITS studies

NOTE: For both population‐ and individual‐level ITS studies, if the study ignored secular (trend) changes and performed a simple t‐test of the pre‐ versus postintervention periods without further justification, the study was not included in the review unless re‐analysis was possible.

Types of participants

Adults of any age and adolescents (defined by WHO as aged 10 to 19 years).

Types of interventions

Intervention.

A reduction in or restriction or banning of advertising of alcohol and related products via any format including advertising in the press, on the television, radio, or internet, or via billboards, social media or product placement in films.

We used the broad definition of advertising recommended by the WHO, which defines marketing (with emphasis on its persuasive impact) as: "any form of commercial communication or message that is designed to increase, or has the effect of increasing, the recognition, appeal and/or consumption of particular products and services. It could comprise anything that acts to advertise or otherwise promote a product or service" ( WHO 2010 , page 15). Hence, a restriction on advertising may include restricting responsible drinking campaigns led by the alcohol industry and the marketing of positive associations between industry and socially responsible initiatives.

We attempted to include restrictions on all new forms of marketing, for example those facilitated by digital technologies, but acknowledge that research into the impacts of advertising restrictions is likely to lag behind new marketing technologies.

Advertising of alcohol and related products via any format including counter‐advertising (defined as the promotion of healthy choices and harm reduction messages).

As for the intervention, we used the definition of advertising recommended by the WHO ( WHO 2010 ).

Types of outcome measures

Primary outcomes.

  • Reduction in alcohol consumption

In population‐based studies, this may be measured via econometric data (e.g. annual sales of alcohol per capita) and in individual‐based studies this may be measured by rate of drinks (number during a specified time).

Secondary outcomes

  • Delayed age of initiation of alcohol use
  • Reduction in rate of reported risk behaviour
  • Reduction in alcohol‐related injuries or accidents
  • Reduction in individual spending on alcohol

Adverse effects

  • Loss of revenue from alcohol industry
  • Loss of advertising revenue
  • Reduction in GDP attributable to alcohol sales
  • Loss of employment from alcohol industry
  • Reduction in taxes generated

Search methods for identification of studies

We developed the search strategy with the assistance of the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Review Group Trials Search Co‐ordinator. We formulated a comprehensive and exhaustive search strategy in an attempt to identify all relevant RCTs, cohort studies and CBA studies, regardless of language or publication status (published, unpublished, in press and in progress).

Electronic searches

As we did not limit the strategy to search for RCTs or cohort studies, we did not use the RCT strategy developed by The Cochrane Collaboration and detailed in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions ( Higgins 2011 ). We used a combination of terms specific to alcohol consumption and to advertising. The search was iterative and used both database‐specific syntax and free‐text terms. There were no language restrictions.

We searched the following databases.

1. Journal databases

  • Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group Specialised Register (May 2014)
  • MEDLINE (PubMed) (1966 to 28 May 2014); see Appendix 1 for the MEDLINE search strategy
  • EMBASE (elsevier.com/online‐tools/embase) (1974 to 28 May 2014); see Appendix 2 for the EMBASE search strategy
  • The Cochrane Library (Issue 5, 2014), which includes the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and the UK National Health Service Economic Evaluations Database (28 May 2014); see Appendix 3 for The Cochrane Library search strategy
  • PsycINFO (on 14 June 2013); see Appendix 4 for the PsychINFO search strategy

We also search the following additional databases, including economic and marketing databases:

  • AgEcon (ageconsearch.umn.edu/) (on 16 October 2013);
  • Business Source Premier (on EBSCOHOST) (on 18 October 2013)
  • National Institute of Health Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Science Database (1972 to 2003) (http://etoh.niaaa.nih.gov/) (on 22 October 2013;
  • Association for Consumer Research (http://www.acrwebsite.org/search/search‐conference‐proceedings.aspx) (on 22 October 2013);
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing (http://library.cim.co.uk/ics‐wpd/exec/icswppro.dll) (on 22 October 2013).

2. Conference databases

We attempted to search several relevant conference proceedings. Electronic database searches or reports were available only for the following conferences:

  • conference proceedings of the Research Society on Alcoholism (www.rsoa.org);
  • conference proceedings of the Kettil Bruun Society 39th Annual Symposium 2013;
  • conference proceedings of the International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol Problems;
  • conference proceedings of the International Health Economics Association (www.ssrn.com);
  • meeting reports of the International Center for Alcohol Policies (http://www.icap.org/);
  • meeting reports of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (http://www.easa‐alliance.org/);
  • meeting reports of the The Foundation for Alcohol Research (http://www.abmrf.org/).

3. Ongoing trials

To identify ongoing RCTs we searched ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov/) and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP) (http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/) (on 10 October 2013). One author, NS, searched both sites using separate terms and combinations of terms. These included [advertising AND alcohol]; [marketing AND alcohol]; [ban AND alcohol]; [restrictions AND alcohol]; [advertis*]; and [ban OR banning].

In the absence of registries for non‐RCTs, we contacted experts and researchers in the field, to identify ongoing cohort, CBA and ITS studies.

Searching other resources

We checked the reference lists of all studies identified by the above methods and examined the references of any systematic reviews, meta‐analyses or guidelines we identified during the search process.

During the period of the review, we were in close contact with individual researchers working in the field and policymakers based in inter‐governmental organisations including the WHO. We also contacted experts in the field who may have been aware of unpublished or ongoing studies (e.g. Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing).

We did not conduct handsearching of specific journals other than those searched by the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Review Group and already included in CENTRAL.

Selection of studies

Two authors, NS and DCP, read the titles, abstracts and descriptor terms of all downloaded material from the electronic searches to identify potentially eligible reports. We obtained full‐text articles for all citations identified as potentially eligible, and NS and DP independently inspected these to establish the relevance of each article according to the prespecified criteria. Where there was any uncertainty as to the eligibility of the record, we obtained the full article.

NS and DCP independently applied the inclusion criteria and any differences of opinion arising were resolved by discussions with a third review author, JEA. We reviewed studies for relevance based on study design, types of participants, exposures and outcome measures.

Data extraction and management

NS and DP independently extracted data into a standardised data extraction form. We piloted the form on two studies to assess its completeness and usability. We extracted the following characteristics from each included study.

  • Administrative details: trial or study identification number; author(s); published or unpublished; year of publication; number of studies included in paper; year in which study was conducted; details of other relevant papers cited
  • Details of the study: study design; type, duration and completeness of follow up; country and location of study (e.g. higher‐income versus lower‐income country); informed consent and ethics approval
  • Details of participants: setting; numbers; relevant baseline characteristics, including age and sex
  • Details of intervention: type of intervention (e.g. restriction, full banning); media setting (e.g. press, television, internet, social media, product placement); timing and duration of intervention; additional co‐interventions
  • Details of comparison: type and media setting of advertising; timing and duration of current advertising
  • Details of outcomes: decreased alcohol consumption; delayed age of initiation of alcohol use; decreased rate of reported risk behaviour; reduction in alcohol‐related injuries or accidents; loss of revenue from alcohol industry; loss of revenue from the advertising agency sector; reduction in GDP; loss of employment from alcohol industry; decreased individual spending on alcohol
  • Details of the analysis: for RCTs, details of the type of analysis (intention‐to‐treat or per protocol); for cohort studies, details of the type of adjustment performed in analyses

Assessment of risk of bias in included studies

Assessment of rcts, ccts, cba and cohort studies.

For RCTs, CCTs, CBA and cohort studies, NS and DP independently examined the components of each included study for risk of bias using a standard form.

We performed the 'Risk of bias' assessment for RCTs, CCTs, cohort studies and CBAs in this review using the criteria recommended in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions ( Higgins 2011 ). The recommended approach for assessing risk of bias in studies included in a Cochrane Review is a two‐part tool, addressing seven specific domains, namely sequence generation and allocation concealment (selection bias), blinding of participants and providers (performance bias), blinding of outcome assessor (detection bias), incomplete outcome data (attrition bias), selective outcome reporting (reporting bias) and other sources of bias. The first part of the tool allows for a description of what was reported to have happened in the study. The second part of the tool involves assigning a judgement relating to the risk of bias for that entry, in terms of low, high or unclear risk. To make these judgements we used the criteria indicated by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions adapted for the addiction field.

The domains of sequence generation and allocation concealment (avoidance of selection bias) were addressed in the tool by a single entry for each study.

Blinding of participants, personnel and outcome assessor (avoidance of performance bias and detection bias) was considered separately for objective outcomes (e.g. use of alcohol measured by biomarker analysis) and subjective outcomes (e.g. patient self‐reported use of substance).

The presence of incomplete outcome data (avoidance of attrition bias) was considered separately for all reported outcomes.

We planned to used the criteria drawn from the Newcastle‐Ottawa Scale (NOS) ( Newcastle‐Ottawa ) and the criteria developed by the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care (EPOC) Review Group ( EPOC 2008 ) to assess observational studies. Specifically, the NOS makes judgements in three general areas: selection of study groups, comparability of groups and ascertainment of outcomes (in the case of cohort studies). As a result, this instrument can assess the quality of non‐randomised studies so that they can be used in a meta‐analysis or systematic review. The 'Risk of bias' tables were adapted to be used for the assessment of RCTs, CCTs, CBA and prospective observational studies according to these criteria. See Appendix 5 for full details. As we did not identify any observational studies for inclusion we did not conduct an assessment using the table.

Assessment for ITS studies

We used the criteria recommended by the Cochrane EPOC Review Group to assess the methodological quality of the ITS studies. The assessment comprises seven standard criteria specific to ITS. See Appendix 6 for full details.

Measures of treatment effect

We conducted data analysis using Review Manager 5 ( RevMan 2012 ).

For RCT data, we calculated outcome measures for dichotomous data (e.g. the proportion of decreasing consumption) as risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). For continuous data (e.g. mean age of initiation) we calculated the mean differences (MDs) and standard deviations (SDs) where means were reported.

For cohort and other study design data, we preferentially reported on the adjusted analysis using the estimate of effect reported in the study rather than calculating estimates of effects based on the crude data. Where only crude data were presented, where appropriate, we calculated the crude risk ratios and 95% CIs for dichotomous data and MDs and SDs for continuous data where means were reported, or we reported medians if data were skewed.

Unit of analysis issues

Cluster trials.

Studies may employ 'cluster‐randomisation' (such as randomisation by student group or region), but analysis and pooling of clustered data poses problems. Authors often fail to account for intraclass correlation in clustered studies, leading to a 'unit of analysis' error ( Divine 1992 ) whereby p values are spuriously low, CIs unduly narrow and statistical significance overestimated. This causes type I errors ( Bland 1997 ).

Where clustering was not accounted for in primary studies, we planned to present data in a table, using a (*) symbol to indicate the presence of a probable unit of analysis error. If cluster studies have been appropriately analysed, taking into account intraclass correlation coefficients, and relevant data documented in the report, synthesis with other studies is possible using the generic inverse variance technique.

Cross‐over trials

We did not anticipate that any cross‐over trials would have been conducted on this topic.

Dealing with missing data

Where data were missing, we contacted study authors and requested additional data. Where this was not possible, we stated explicitly where calculations were based on assumptions regarding missing data.

Assessment of heterogeneity

For both RCT and cohort meta‐analyses, we formally tested for statistical heterogeneity using the Chi² test for statistical homogeneity with a 10% level of significance as the cut‐off. We quantified the impact of any statistical heterogeneity using the I² statistic ( Higgins 2002 ).

Where studies did not have combinable outcomes, we have provided the data in a narrative form.

Data synthesis

Where RCTs were found to be methodologically or clinically comparable, we planned to pool trial results in a meta‐analysis. As we anticipated the presence of statistical heterogeneity we planned to combine the data using the random‐effects model. As only one RCT was included we did not conduct a meta‐analysis. However, if this was possible we had planned to combine the results and calculate the risk ratios and 95% CIs for dichotomous data. For continuous data, we planned to combine the MDs to calculate an overall MD and SD. If time‐to‐event data were available, we planned to combine the hazard ratios (HRs) reported in the RCTs using the generic inverse variance function.

Where cohort and ITS studies were found to be methodologically or clinically comparable, we pooled the results in a meta‐analysis using the generic inverse variance function in RevMan to allow adjusted data to be used in the analysis. We anticipated heterogeneity due to the likelihood of different analytical techniques and different adjusted variables, and combined studies using the random‐effects model.

For the cohort and ITS studies, we planned to report on the adjusted analysis using the estimate of effect reported in the study. Where the adjusted estimate of effect was reported with 95% CIs, we calculated the standard error (SE) in order to enter the data into RevMan, using the following formulae for ratio measures:

  • lower limit = ln(lower confidence limit given for HR);
  • upper limit = ln(upper confidence limit given for HR);
  • intervention effect estimate = lnHR;
  • SE = (upper limit – lower limit)/3.92.

Subgroup analysis and investigation of heterogeneity

We anticipated statistical heterogeneity due to differences between study populations and interventions. We planned to explore the expected heterogeneity using the following subgroups:

  • setting: resource‐constrained or resource‐rich settings as defined by the World Bank as middle‐ or low‐income countries and high‐income countries, respectively;
  • setting: international, national, regional or community settings;
  • age: adolescent, adult or mixed populations;
  • type of advertising: audiovisual, print or social media.

Sensitivity analysis

For RCTs, we planned to explore the effect of study quality on the results by excluding those studies where allocation concealment was unclear or inadequate from the meta‐analysis and assessing the effect of this on the overall results. For cohort studies we planned to examine the effect of adjustments for confounding. If data were available, we also planned to explore the effects of funding source (industry versus non‐industry) on the meta‐analysis. As data were too limited, we were not able to conduct sensitivity analyses.

GRADE assessment

We used GRADEpro version 3.6 to create 'Summary of findings' and evidence profile tables. The GRADEpro software was developed as part of a larger initiative led by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group. GRADE offers a system for rating the quality of evidence in systematic reviews and guidelines, and grading the strength of recommendations in guidelines ( Guyatt 2011 ). Use of GRADEpro within a Cochrane systematic review facilitates the process of presenting and grading evidence transparently (http://ims.cochrane.org/revman/other‐resources/gradepro/about‐gradepro).

In determining the level of evidence for each outcome, we integrated both the efficacy results and the assessment of the risk of bias into a final assessment of the level of evidence and provided full details of the decision in footnotes. For the one RCT identified, the quality of evidence started graded as high and we then downgraded where necessary to reach a final overall quality assessment. For the ITS studies, the quality of evidence started graded as low (due to the lack of randomisation and inherent limitations in inferring causality from this type of study) before we considered other quality parameters for grading.

Description of studies

Results of the search, 1.1 health‐specific databases.

The February 2013 search of the electronic journal databases was conducted via OVID and retrieved 4114 records (see Figure 1 for the records retrieved per database).

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Flow diagram of screening and eligibility of records of electronic databases: PubMed, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library (CENTRAL and UK National Health Service Economic Evaluations Database) and PsychINFO

After NS and DP manually screened all 4114 abstracts, we identified 39 records as possibly eligible and the full articles were obtained for eligibility assessment. Four of these articles reported on studies which were eligible for inclusion. We also identified a further 18 records which reported reviews or were likely to contain important references and obtained the full articles for these. See Figure 1 .

The PsychINFO search was conducted later than the above search (on 14 June 2013) via EBSCOhost and retrieved 1559 records of which we identified 20 records as possibly eligible and obtained the full articles for further scrutiny. Two of these articles reported studies which were eligible for inclusion, both of which were already identified in the earlier search.

The May 2014 updated search retrieved a further 619 records from which none were eligible for inclusion (see Appendix 7 for the records retrieved per database).

1.2 Economic and marketing databases

We searched several other databases which are not specific to health or medical topics in order to ensure we included economic and marketing studies (see Appendix 8 for a full description of the databases, terms used and number of records retrieved). We searched a total of 1768 records of which 26 were potentially eligible and full articles were obtained. Of these none reported on eligible studies.

For the search of conference presentations, NS searched the relevant conference databases and archives of manual reports and retrieved 858 records, none of which related to studies that were considered eligible (see Appendix 9 for a full description of the conferences and report archives, responses to requests and number of records retrieved).

3. Trials registries

The search of ClinicalTrials.gov resulted in 159 titles, none of which were relevant to the review. The search of the WHO ICTRP resulted in 66 titles, none of which were relevant to this review.

Included studies

After conducting a full eligibility assessment on all the selected full articles, we identified four eligible studies: one RCT ( Engels 2009 ) and three ITS studies ( Makowksy 1991 ; Ogborne 1980 ; Smart 1976 ). Full details of each study is contained in the Characteristics of included studies table.

Individual level RCT

The RCT ( Engels 2009 ) was conducted in the Netherlands and recruited 40 male pairs aged between 18 and 29 years old. Participants were randomised to one of three intervention groups or to a control group. Participants in the intervention groups watched movie clips containing either a high degree of alcohol content or a low amount of alcohol content interrupted with commercials containing advertising for alcohol products. The control group watched a movie clip containing a low amount of alcohol content and a commercial for neutral products. We interpreted the commercials for neutral products as the equivalent of a ban on alcohol advertising. The observed number of alcohol drinks consumed during the viewing session was counted and self‐reported frequency of drinking prior to the trial was recorded.

Population level RCT

No RCT evaluating the effects of a restriction or ban on alcohol advertising at the general population level were identified.

All three ITS studies were conducted in Canada and were published more than 20 years ago ( Makowksy 1991 ; Ogborne 1980 ; Smart 1976 ). Each of the studies evaluated a different type of ban (partial or full) compared with different degrees of restrictions or no restrictions during the control period. Ogborne 1980 and Smart 1976 evaluated the effects of an implementation of restrictions, whereas Makowksy 1991 evaluated the effects of lifting a restriction.

Ogborne 1980 compared the effects of a partial ban on beer advertising in print and electronic media implemented from 1974 onwards with the pre‐ban period when no ban was in place in Manitoba. Per capita beer consumption was derived from monthly beer sales divided by the year's estimate of the size of the provincial adult population. The consumption rates in Manitoba were compared to those in the province of Ontario where no ban had been in place during the same period.

Smart 1976 evaluated a time‐limited total ban on alcohol advertising for beer, wine and spirits in electronic, print and billboard media implemented in British Columbia on 1 September 1971 and continuing to 31 October 1972. Periods before and after the ban was implemented were used as the control period. The outcome assessed was per capita alcohol consumption measured by sales data for alcohol beverages and population estimates from census data.

The third study ( Makowksy 1991 ) compared alcohol consumption before and after the lifting of a total ban on beer and wine advertising on the radio and television and in print media, which had been in effect for 58 years in the province of Saskatchewan. The total ban on advertising for spirits, which was part of the 58‐year ban, continued in place and was not lifted. The outcome assessed was alcohol sales by volume derived from monthly sales data and expressed in litres of pure alcohol sold per population aged 15 years and older. The consumption rates were compared to those in the province of New Brunswick where a similar ban was in place and was not lifted during the same period.

Excluded studies

We excluded 35 of the articles retrieved from the combined journal database search, 18 articles from the PsychINFO search, 26 of the articles retrieved in the search of marketing and economic databases and 22 of the reports and presentations retrieved from the conference search. See Figure 1 for reasons for exclusion, which mainly included studies not meeting the study design criteria or not meeting the intervention design criteria.

Several prominent studies that have previously been included in reviews on this topic were excluded from our review. We document the specific reasons for exclusion of these studies in the Characteristics of excluded studies table. These included regression analyses of large national or regional datasets, which evaluated the association between consumption and whether or not countries or provinces within the regional datasets implemented advertising restrictions ( Nelson 2001 ; Nelson 2003 ; Nelson 2010 ; Saffer 1991 ; Saffer 2002 ; Young 1993 ). Although these studies can be viewed as pooled ITS studies, they did not meet all the review study inclusion criteria for ITS studies, specifically that the intervention could be identified as occurring at a clearly defined point in time. Data was aggregated and not analysed or reported within individual countries or states, and no defined points in time were reported for ban implementation. The country‐specific data were not available from the authors for further analysis.

The Loi Evin 1999 report of the French government details the consumption of alcohol in France before, during and after the introduction of the Loi Evin (ban on alcohol and smoking advertising) implemented in 1991. The law curtails alcohol advertising on television and in cinemas, and disallows sport sponsorship. In the report data are not presented in a manner that allowed us to extract them, as only percentages of use over time are reported. The report states that in France alcohol consumption was declining prior to the introduction of the banning law and that internal surveys have produced contradictory results. The report notes that the proportion of alcohol consumers aged 12 to 18 years had a tendency to decline in the 1980s, but then increased significantly between 1991 and 1995, from 47% in 1991 to 65% in 1995. No variance or significance levels were provided.

Risk of bias in included studies

We assessed the risk of bias using the combination of the standard appraisal for RCTs and the EPOC appraisal specifically for ITS studies (see Appendix 5 and Appendix 6 ). We provide a full description of the risk of bias for each included study in the Characteristics of included studies table, which is summarised in Figure 2 and Figure 3 . None of the included studies were funded by the alcohol or advertising industries.

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'Risk of bias' graph: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item presented as percentages across all included studies (N = 4).

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'Risk of bias' summary: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item for each included study (N = 4).

In Engels 2009 the method of generating the sequence or concealing allocation is not reported. The article states that men who were in the group allocated to watch movies with a high alcohol content reported higher rates of drinking in the week prior to the study indicating that randomisation did not achieve similar baseline differences between groups. We assessed the risk of biasas high.

We assessed all three ITS studies as having a high risk of bias due to a lack of randomisation and allocation concealment.

Blinding of research staff was absent in the Engels 2009 trial and detection bias may be present so we rated the risk of bias as high.

We assessed the risk of performance and detection bias to be low in the three ITS studies, as outcomes were objectively measured by routine data collection and the outcomes were unlikely to be influenced by knowledge of the intervention groups.

Incomplete outcome data

We judged the risk of attrition bias to be unclear in Smart 1976 , as data were not available for all alcohol types across all the same time periods. We judged the risk of attrition bias as low in the RCT and in the other two ITS studies.

Selective reporting

We considered that none of the studies were at risk of selective reporting bias. The Engels 2009 trial was not registered on a prospective trials registry but results were reported for all the outcomes identified in the methods section. We judged it to be unlikely that the outcomes were changed during the reporting period. For the three ITS studies, there is no indication that other outcomes would be of interest.

Other potential sources of bias

We made three additional assessments of risk of bias specifically pertaining to the ITS studies. These were whether the intervention would affect data collection, whether the intervention was independent of other changes, and whether the shape of the intervention effect had been prespecified.

Data collection influenced by intervention

For all three ITS studies the data were collected from routine sources and we considered the studies to be at low risk of bias.

Intervention independent of other changes

For Makowksy 1991 and Ogborne 1980 , there was no report of historical or political reasons underpinning the decisions to lift or implement the ban. In Smart 1976 , the advertising ban was initiated by a unanimous political vote, but the ban was stopped after elections when there was a change in political power. There is a likelihood that other political or social changes may have coincided with the period of the ban and as a result we rated this study as at high risk of bias.

Shape of the intervention effect pre‐specified

The directional effects of implementing or lifting advertising bans on alcohol consumption or sales were predicted in all three ITS studies prior to testing the intervention effect.

Other forms of bias

We judged all three ITS studies to be at high risk of bias introduced by a possible dilution effect on the advertising restrictions caused by an inability to regulate or control advertising originating in neighbouring provinces or the USA and available in print or electronic media.

Effects of interventions

See: Table 1 ; Table 2

The RCT differed significantly from the three ITS studies in terms of design, participant level (individual versus population level) and duration. For this reason we present the results stratified according to study design and did not seek to conduct meta‐analysis across study design.

Alcohol consumption

Engels 2009 reported that there were baseline differences between groups with participants in the groups exposed to movie clips with high‐alcohol content and commercials for alcohol reporting higher alcohol consumption in the week prior to the trial than those in the groups exposed to low‐alcohol content movie clips and neutral commercials. This was reported as a statistically significant difference (t (38) = 2.9; p value < 0.01). The means presented in the trial report were corrected for this difference using analysis of covariance but no further details are provided. Using the corrected means and reported SEs we calculated the SDs using the formula: SD = SE * Sqrt(N) to allow data entry into RevMan.

The Engels 2009 trial found that young men who viewed a movie clip with a low‐alcohol content, regardless of the content viewed in the commercial breaks, drank a mean of 1.73 (SD 1.33) glasses of alcoholic drink compared with young men viewing a movie clip with a high‐alcohol content who drank a mean of 2.38 (SD 1.33) glasses of alcoholic drink. This was a statistically significant difference (MD ‐0.65 drinks, 95% CI ‐1.2, ‐0.07; p value = 0.03). See Analysis 1.1 . The number of alcoholic drinks consumed was 1.69 (SD 1.38) in young men who viewed commercials with no alcohol content compared with a mean of 2.42 (SD 1.25) alcoholic drinks in young men who viewed commercials for alcohol, regardless of the content of alcohol portrayed in the movie clips. This was a statistically significant difference (MD ‐0.73 drinks, 95% CI ‐1.30, ‐0.16); p value = 0.01). See Analysis 2.1 .

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Comparison 1 Low‐alcohol content movies versus high‐alcohol content movies, Outcome 1 Total alcohol consumption in number of glasses.

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Comparison 2 Non‐alcohol commercials versus alcohol commercials, Outcome 1 Total alcohol consumption in number of glasses.

As participants were recruited in pairs, the investigators conducted an analysis to adjust for clustering effects within pairs. The total alcohol consumption was reported to be statistically significantly higher in young men who viewed movie clips with a high‐alcohol content regardless of commercial content compared with young men who viewed movie clips with a low‐alcohol content (coefficient 0.74, 95% CI 0.05, 1.43; SE 0.35; p value = 0.03). See Analysis 3.1 . Total alcohol consumption was statistically significantly higher in young men who viewed commercials with alcohol content compared with those who viewed commercials with neutral content, regardless of the content of alcohol portrayed in the movie clips (coefficient 0.83, 95% CI 0.14, 1.52; SE 0.35; p value = 0.02). See Analysis 4.1 . Outcomes were assessed immediately after the intervention so no follow‐up data were available for evaluating the longer‐term effects of the low‐alcohol content movies or advertising.

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Comparison 3 High‐alcohol content movies versus low‐alcohol content movies adjusted for clustering effects, Outcome 1 Total alcohol consumption.

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Comparison 4 Alcohol commercials versus non‐alcohol commercials adjusted for clustering effects, Outcome 1 Total alcohol consumption.

Due to differences in the reported types of effect estimates between the ITS studies, we were not able to combine these in a meta‐analysis, with the exception of Ogborne 1980 and Smart 1976 . which both reported the mean percentage change in beer consumption.

Smart 1976 provide graphs and some statistical test results in the text, but we were unable to extract sufficient details for entering into RevMan with the exception of the data for beer consumption. We provide the results in narrative form as reported by the authors. The reported yearly per capita consumption data analysis did not show any effects of the 14‐month total ban on alcohol advertising implemented in 1971 and lifted in 1972. The authors reported a Mann‐Whitney U‐test indicating that there were no statistically significant differences in consumption of beer, wine and spirits during the ban years compared to the pre‐ban years (z 0.31, p value > 0.05).

A more detailed analysis using moving averages and a t‐test was conducted in Smart 1976 using monthly data in order to account for the ban spanning parts of two calendar years. The article reports that neither of the t values for wine nor beer was significant, with a reduction in wine consumption during (12%) and after (20%) the ban. The authors report that it was not possible to assess the monthly data on spirit consumption as data were not available for a full 24‐month period either before or after the ban. The authors report that inspection of the graph of spirit consumption shows similar results as for the beer data, with no graphically noticeable effect on consumption.

In Makowksy 1991 the effects of changing a total ban on all forms of alcohol advertising to a partial ban on spirits advertising only was compared for 2.5 years before the lifting of the ban and for 3.5 years after the lifting of the ban in Saskatchewan. Two types of models were applied to the data ‐ Abrupt and Gradual Auto‐regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models, which adjust for seasonality, trends and random error. Both models assumed the change would be a permanent and not a temporary effect, given that the ban was not reversed. Following the lifting of the ban, the Abrupt ARIMA model indicated that the volume of all forms of alcohol sales decreased by 11.11 kilolitres (95% CI ‐27.56, 5.34; p value = 0.19) per month. This decrease was not statistically significant. See Analysis 5.1 . Each type of alcohol was also examined separately within the model: the volume of beer sales increased statistically significantly by 14.89 kilolitres (95% CI 0.39, 29.39; p value = 0.04) per month following the ban; the volume of wine sales increased by 1.15 kilolitres (95% CI ‐0.91, 3.21; p value = 0.27) per month following the ban and was not statistically significant; and the volume of spirits decreased statistically significantly by 22.49 kilolitres (95% CI ‐36.83, ‐8.15; p value = 0.002). See Analysis 5.2 , Analysis 5.3 ; and Analysis 5.4 .

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Comparison 5 Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Abrupt permanent model, Outcome 1 Volume of alcohol (beer, wine and spirits) sales in kilolitres.

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Comparison 5 Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Abrupt permanent model, Outcome 2 Volume of beer sales in kilolitres.

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Comparison 5 Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Abrupt permanent model, Outcome 3 Volume of wine sales in kilolitres.

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Comparison 5 Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Abrupt permanent model, Outcome 4 Volume of spirits sales in kilolitres.

The Gradual ARIMA model (see Analysis 6.1 ; Analysis 6.2 ; Analysis 6.3 ; Analysis 6.4 ) did not find any statistically significant effects of the ban (under the assumption that prior to the intervention (lifting of the ban) the series was trendless). The authors conclude that the change in legislation regulating advertising of alcoholic beverages cannot be well modelled within the context of a gradual permanent impact on sales volumes due to a lack of statistical significance in the estimates for each type of alcoholic beverage and for total alcohol consumption.

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Comparison 6 Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Gradual permanent model, Outcome 1 Volume of alcohol (beer, wine and spirits) sales in kilolitres.

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Comparison 6 Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Gradual permanent model, Outcome 2 Volume of beer sales in kilolitres.

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Comparison 6 Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Gradual permanent model, Outcome 3 Volume of wine sales in kilolitres.

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Comparison 6 Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Gradual permanent model, Outcome 4 Volume of spirits sales in kilolitres.

Ogborne 1980 evaluated the effects of a partial ban on beer advertising on beer consumption and not on other forms of alcohol. Smart 1976 and Ogborne 1980 both reported the mean percentage change in beer consumption. In Ogborne 1980 the SD was not explicitly labelled as such so we made an assumption that the reported values were SD. We calculated the SE using the formula: SE = MD/t value.

Ogborne 1980 found a mean percentage increase in beer consumption of 4.5% (SD 2.15) following implementation of the partial ban on beer advertising, and Smart 1976 found a 2% (SD 1.66) decrease in beer consumption following implementation of a total ban on all forms of alcohol advertising. We combined the results in a meta‐analysis using the random‐effects model producing an overall mean percentage increase in beer consumption of 1.10% following the implementation of the bans (95% CI ‐5.26, 7.47; p value = 0.43). See Analysis 7.1 . The finding was not statistically significant and considerable heterogeneity is present (Chi² = 5.72, df = 1 (p value = 0.02); I² = 83%) indicating that 83% of the variability in the effect estimate is due to heterogeneity rather than chance alone. We advise that these results should be interpreted with caution.

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Comparison 7 Alcohol ban versus no ban, Outcome 1 % Change in beer consumption.

None of the ITS studies reported on adverse effects, either in terms of economic losses to the alcohol or advertising industries or in reductions in government tax revenues income.

GRADE ASSESSMENTS

GRADE assessments were conducted for all outcomes where data were available to enter into GRADEPro. For the 'Summary of findings' tables we selected seven outcomes per comparison and ranked their importance.

Using the GRADE approach to assess the overall quality of the evidence, we rated the quality of the evidence generated from the RCT as very low for the outcome of alcohol consumption ( Table 1 ). This was due to a serious risk of bias, serious indirectness of the included population and serious imprecision present in the results, primarily driven by the small sample size. No other outcomes were measured and therefore could not be graded.

Overall, when using the GRADE approach, we judged the evidence for alcohol consumption arising from the ITS studies to be very low quality. This was due to a high risk of bias arising from a lack of randomisation and imprecision in the results ( Table 2 ). As for the RCT, no other outcomes were measured and therefore could not be graded.

Using the GRADE approach, we conclude that we have very little confidence in the effect estimates and that the true effect is likely to be substantially different from the estimate of effect.

Summary of main results

There is a lack of robust evidence either in support of or against restricting the advertising of alcohol to reduce alcohol consumption. One small RCT and three ITS studies were included in this review. Although the RCT found a statistically significant reduction in alcohol consumption among young men who were not exposed to alcohol advertising compared with young men who were exposed to alcohol advertising, the results should be viewed with caution in the light of the high risk of bias identified within the trial. The RCT did not evaluate any longer‐term effects as there was no follow‐up period, which limits inferences beyond the immediate effects.

Two of the three included ITS studies evaluated the implementation of a ban on advertising and the other ITS study evaluated the lifting of a ban which had been in place for over 50 years. The results from the three ITS studies were inconsistent. A meta‐analysis of the two studies which evaluated the implementation of a ban showed a non‐statistically significant mean percentage increase in beer consumption in the general population following the ban. The study evaluating the lifting of a total ban on all forms of alcohol advertising to a partial ban on spirits advertising only indicated that the volume of all forms of alcohol sales decreased per month after the ban was lifted. This was not statistically significant.

Overall completeness and applicability of evidence

The RCT was conducted in young, educated Dutch men in a university setting and may not be generalisable to women, older men or people living in rural and low‐resource settings. The results from the trial do, however, provide an indication of the potential for an RCT design to evaluate the immediate response behaviour of study participants to televised alcohol advertising. Stronger evidence would be gained from replicating trials within different age groups, with gender mixes, and in high‐ and low‐resource settings. The use of other electronic media, such as mobile phone messaging, for alcohol advertising and the context in which the advertising is delivered (e.g. television, at a cinema, on the internet) would also require consideration to ensure wider applicability of the results from future trials.

The ITS studies included in this review are over two decades old, thus limiting the utility of the findings to the present day landscape. With the advent of the internet and social media, it may be impossible to implement an advertising ban effectively. All three studies measured general population alcohol consumption using alcohol sales data and population census data. The figures from statistical records were used to estimate per capita alcohol consumption. Such per capita estimates provide an average picture but hide variations in consumption that exist, for instance, between heavy‐ and moderate‐alcohol drinkers, and among young people. An assessment of impact in this regard would require taking into account the patterns of change that occur between specific population groups as a result of a ban or restriction on advertising. Although household surveys may under‐report alcohol consumption ( Stockwell 1999 ), they are most likely to show variations in the impact of a ban on advertising in an ITS study. Such an approach may also capture the effects on youth who are under the legal drinking age and who may not have started to drink yet. Hastings and colleagues have emphasized the importance of this group as they argue that the alcohol industry targets advertising to such persons to get them to begin drinking ( Hastings 2010 ).

None of the included studies measured the additional outcomes prespecified in the review, including delaying the age of initiation of alcohol use or rates of reported risk behaviours, alcohol‐related injuries or other harms, or individual spending on alcohol. In addition, none of the studies considered the potential adverse effects of advertising restrictions, such as loss of revenue from the alcohol and advertising industries and a reduction in GDP attributable to alcohol sales, nor did any refer to potential job losses in the marketing and communication sectors due to an advertising ban. Future studies should aim to measure outcomes and adverse effects as comprehensively as possible in order to provide a balanced overall assessment of the effects of implementing advertising bans and restrictions.

We did not identify any studies conducted in resource‐constrained settings. In an assessment of the international determinants of alcohol advertising restrictions, Gallet and Andres conducted Probit regressions using observations from the year 2002 for 103 countries captured in the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health of the WHO ( Gallet 2011 ). From the analysis they concluded that advertising restrictions were more probable in countries with higher income, higher life expectancy, higher percentage of the population that is young, and with a majority of the population that is Muslim. With the exception of the last observation, the studies included in this review broadly meet these criteria, with all three ITS studies conducted in Canada, a high‐income setting. There is therefore a clear gap in the evidence base regarding the influence of advertising restriction on general population alcohol consumption levels in low‐ and middle‐income countries. Authors of an overview of alcohol policy reform in Australia note that population‐wide interventions, such as advertising bans, may be more equitable than those interventions aimed at reducing alcohol harms, which rely on a healthcare practitioner for delivery ( Doran 2010 ). This argument suggests that advertising restrictions may be an appropriate intervention for resource‐constrained settings should effectiveness be demonstrated.

We judged the single RCT identified to be at a high risk of bias due to inadequate randomisation, uncertain allocation procedure and a lack of blinding. When using the GRADE approach to assess the overall quality of the evidence, we rated the quality of the evidence generated from the RCT as very low for the outcome of alcohol consumption ( Table 1 ). This was due to the risk of bias, indirectness of the included population and imprecision present in the results, primarily driven by the small sample size.

The three ITS studies were well conducted and met most of the criteria outlined by the EPOC 'Risk of bias' assessment. However, we identified all three as at risk of a dilution effect because advertising arising from neighbouring Canadian provinces or from the USA was not subject to regulation and the integrity of the intervention was thus compromised. Nevertheless, such dilution effects are a reflection of the current reality as alternative advertising forms, such as social media and internet‐driven advertising, arising from regions outside a study area or region where a ban is implemented, will remain challenging to regulate. In addition, other forms of alcohol control policy within a region may also dilute or (potentially) increase the impact of a reduction in advertising should such an impact exist. We were not able to determine this clearly from the study reports.

Seasonality was addressed inconsistently between the studies and different types of analyses were employed in each study to address it. This difference likely reflects the development of more sophisticated analyses over the 15‐year period between publication of the first ITS study in 1976 and the last ITS study in 1991. Overall, when using the GRADE approach, we judged the evidence arising from the three studies to be of very low quality. This was due to the high risk arising from a lack of randomisation and imprecision in the results ( Table 2 ).

Potential biases in the review process

We minimised possible selection biases in the review process by using a comprehensive search strategy to identify studies and, wherever possible, independently selecting and appraising the studies. In addition to searching journal electronic databases, we also searched conference databases and prospective trials registries, and contacted experts in the field who may have been aware of unpublished or ongoing studies. We contacted several authors of conference abstracts to confirm whether the data in their abstracts corresponded to subsequent journal articles or to assess whether the reported data were eligible for inclusion in this review. It is unlikely that we have missed any important studies given the close partnership we established with agencies and organisations working in this area.

Two authors independently carried out data extraction and quality assessment, which was checked by a third author. We presented the preliminary results at a Global Alcohol Policy Alliance meeting in Seoul, South Korea, in October 2013 and we have incorporated the feedback obtained into the review.

Agreements and disagreements with other studies or reviews

In 1988, Smart published a review of empirical studies on whether alcohol advertising affects overall consumption ( Smart 1988 ). In addition to the two ITS studies we included in this review, which were published at the time ( Ogborne 1980 ; Smart 1976 ), he reports on the lack of an effect of advertising bans implemented in Norway in 1975 and Finland in 1976, but presents no study designs or data. Despite the 25 years that have passed, our review agrees with his conclusion that no studies have examined the effects of advertising bans on specific segments of the population, such as heavy drinkers or young people. However, our review disagrees with his conclusion that advertising bans do not affect overall alcohol consumption as the data included in our review indicates that there is uncertainty as to whether this effect is beneficial, neutral or harmful. We did not identify any other reviews which specifically focused on the causal relationship between advertising restrictions and alcohol consumption.

During our search for eligible studies, we identified several reviews of the association between advertising and alcohol consumption, many of which were targeted at evaluating the link between advertising and the youth market. An argument can be made that should a causal link be shown between advertising and consumption, then reducing advertising should reduce consumption. It should be noted that we did not conduct a systematic search or critical appraisal of these reviews and we present the results of these reviews as reported by the authors.

A review published online in 2013 ( Aspara 2013 ) reports on a qualitative review of 16 studies which the authors claim are most referred to by alcohol and addiction researchers to show that alcohol advertising increases total consumption. They conclude that the evidence is undermined by several methodological problems including the exclusive use of survey data, use of self‐reported data, a lack of exclusive outcomes in young people and the high attrition noted in many of the longitudinal studies. They recommend large‐scale field experiments and note that advertising should not be evaluated apart from other marketing variables, especially pricing. In a 2009 systematic review, Smith and Foxcroft ( Smith 2009 ) identified seven cohort studies conducted almost exclusively in young people (more than 13,000) and concluded that the modest association effect size observed between exposure to alcohol advertising and subsequent alcohol consumption is likely to be limited by residual or unmeasured confounding. In another systematic review of 13 longitudinal studies of 38,000 young people, also published in 2009, Anderson et al. found that there was a consistent association between exposure to media/commercial communications and alcohol and adolescents starting to drink alcohol, but the authors acknowledge that they did not attempt to quantify the quality of study characteristics other than the longitudinal design ( Anderson 2009a ). In a 2010 published summary of the second edition of the book Alcohol: No ordinary commodity , the Alcohol and Public Policy Group report that there is consistent evidence to show that alcohol marketing reduces the age of onset of drinking and increases consumption by those who are already drinkers ( Alcohol and Public Policy Group ). The summary reports that despite the consistent evidence in support of the association, the question of whether restrictions are effective in reducing consumption remains unknown.

There is currently no robust evidence for or against recommending the implementation of alcohol advertising restrictions. Governments and ministries considering implementing restrictions on alcohol advertising should ideally consider delivery of the restrictions within a high‐quality, well‐monitored research programme to ensure that the intervention is evaluated over time on all relevant outcomes and that useful data to build the evidence base are generated.

Individual level studies

At an individual level, the need for well‐conceived and ‐conducted RCTs exists. Men and women, young and old, and of different prior drinking habits, can be randomised to viewing or receiving marketing media for alcoholic beverages or viewing or receiving neutral marketing media. This can be done as a short‐term study or over a longer period of time. Their immediate and ongoing drinking responses to such marketing will provide important evidence to support or refute the use of advertising restrictions to reduce individual alcohol consumption. Consideration will need to be given to stratification by previous levels of drinking as differences in responses may exist between social and heavy drinkers.

Population level studies

Any country‐level ban should be delivered within a research context to ensure data are added to the evidence base.

As the feasibility of conducting an RCT within or between countries is questionable, the recommended study design that can be implemented at a country level is the ITS study. We outline the ideal process for such a study below.

  • Prior to the ban implementation, data are collected for at least a year to 18 months in advance to allow for adequate data collection
  • Monthly industry (sales) data to assess general population level consumption
  • Household or individual surveys to assess individual level consumption
  • Incidence of alcohol‐related mortality and morbidity (e.g. road traffic injuries, deaths from alcohol‐related inter‐personal violence)
  • Alcohol industry revenue
  • Advertising industry revenue
  • Appropriate statistical analysis should be used to analyse the data
  • The ITS can be ongoing with monitoring procedures integrated into routine data collection to observe changes or dilution over time

The length of time required to establish whether a ban has been effective or not is currently unclear. In a seminal experiment in the USA, the effect of a reduction in expenditure on beer advertising was felt within the beer production company as a sales decline 18 months after the cessation of advertising ( Ackhoff 1975 ). Thereafter, it took six months after the reinstatement of normal advertising to restore sales to normal growth rates. This study provided evidence of a so‐called carryover effect that once advertising is stopped, it can take a while (18 months in this case) for the effects of advertising to become ineffective. Although there are highly likely to be contextual differences, in the absence of other evidence it seems reasonable to monitor the effects of any country‐level ban at least for 18 months.

The proposed approach to a country‐level ITS study outlined above is in agreement with the International Alcohol Control study, a multi‐country collaborative project that aims to assess the impact of alcohol control policy and policy changes in a longitudinal survey of drinkers from Australia, England, Mongolia, New Zealand, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam ( Casswell 2012 ) . Data are collected annually in repeated surveys of 2000 respondents aged between 18 and 65 years per country. Outcome variables will provide comprehensive alcohol consumption data.

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Zuzana Mitrova of the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Review Group for her guidance and searching. We thank Tara Carney of the Medical Research Council Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Unit for assisting so ably with article retrieval, and Joy Oliver of the South African Cochrane Centre for her assistance with procuring articles and administrative assistance.

We are very grateful to the two peer referees of our protocol who provided invaluable feedback to improve the protocol, and to the referees and contact editor who provided constructive criticism during the peer review process for the review.

We thank the following researchers who kindly shared data and presentations with us: Rogers Kasirye of the Uganda Youth Development Link; Prof Robin Room of Turning Point, Australia; Craig Ross of Virtual Media Resource Inc. The following organisations and associations responded to our requests for further information: Research Society on Alcoholism, Kettil Bruun Society, International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol Problems and the European Advertising Standards Alliance. We are grateful for their assistance.

Appendix 1. PubMed search strategy

Appendix 2. embase search strategy, appendix 3. cochrane library search strategy, appendix 4. psycinfosearch strategy, appendix 5. 'risk of bias' criteria for rcts, ccts and prospective observational studies, appendix 6. 'risk of bias' criteria for its studies, appendix 7. may 2014 search: records retrieved per database, appendix 8. results of searches of economic and marketing databases, appendix 9. results of conferences and manual report archives searched.

Edited (no change to conclusions)

Data and analyses

Comparison 1.

Low‐alcohol content movies versus high‐alcohol content movies

Comparison 2

Non‐alcohol commercials versus alcohol commercials

Comparison 3

High‐alcohol content movies versus low‐alcohol content movies adjusted for clustering effects

Comparison 4

Alcohol commercials versus non‐alcohol commercials adjusted for clustering effects

Comparison 5

Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Abrupt permanent model

Comparison 6

Total advertising ban versus Partial advertising ban Gradual permanent model

Comparison 7

Alcohol ban versus no ban

Differences between protocol and review

The review followed the protocol as it was published, with no differences in methodology.

Characteristics of studies

Characteristics of included studies [ordered by study id].

Engels 2009

Makowksy 1991

Ogborne 1980

RCT: randomised controlled trial

SD: standard deviation

Characteristics of excluded studies [ordered by study ID]

OECD: Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development

Contributions of authors

The study was commissioned by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Unit and the South African Cochrane Centre of the South Medical Research Council. NS co‐ordinated the author team. NS and DCP extracted data and JEA served as the arbiter. NS inputted data and conducted analysis, and DCP and JEA checked them. CDHP and JV regularly reviewed results and provided guidance in the interpretation of results and recommendations for ensuring the comprehensiveness of the review. MJ provided expertise in marketing. All authors contributed to the interpretation of the results. NS wrote the initial draft of the review and all authors contributed to writing the final draft.

Sources of support

Internal sources.

The Unit commissioned the study in partnership with the South African Cochrane Centre and co‐funded the lead author of the review.

The Unit commissioned the study in partnership with the Alcohol and other Drug Research Unit and co‐funded the lead author of the review.

External sources

  • No sources of support supplied

Declarations of interest

NS, DCP, JV, TK and MJ declare no conflicts of interest.

JEA is a member of the WHO Working Group on Alcohol Taxation and Pricing. This working group is involved in drafting a technical resource on alcohol pricing and taxation policies and guidelines on how best to implement such policies.

CDHP is a member of the WHO Expert Panel on Drug Dependence and Alcohol Problems and a board member of the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance, a network whose mission is to reduce alcohol‐related harm worldwide by promoting science‐based policies independent of commercial interests.

References to studies included in this review

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EssayBanyan.com – Collections of Essay for Students of all Class in English

Essay on Alcohol Ban

Alcohol Ban

Many times we must have spotted people fighting or lying roadside or in drains unconsciously after drinking alcohol. The condition in which they are found is a pity but at the same time is shameful. The families have to suffer as men beat their wives and children and spend their money on alcohol instead of giving it to the family. Imposing a ban on alcohol might be a great help in getting rid of these cases and saving a lot of families from destruction.

Short and Long Essay on Alcohol Ban in English

Here some essays with a detailed view on this topic for students of class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and class 12 in English in 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 500 words. I hope it might be of great help to understand the topic.

Alcohol Ban Essay 10 Lines (100 – 150 Words)

1) Alcohol is a bad addiction that is dangerous for both people and their families.

2) Alcohol ban is a step to stop the circulation of alcohol in society.

3) Alcohol leads to several lung diseases and even causes death.

4) Alcohol addiction is responsible for ruining many families.

5) Today young generation is consuming alcohol as a trend.

6) Seeing the effects of alcohol, the government has imposed an alcohol ban in many states.

7) Alcohol ban aimed to stop selling and consuming alcohol in the country.

8) Alcohol ban helped in reducing violence against women.

9) States like Bihar, Gujarat, and Nagaland have imposed an alcohol ban.

10) Other states like Mizoram, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, etc repealed the alcohol ban.

Short Essay on Alcohol Ban (250 words)

‘Drinking is injurious to health’ is clearly written on the bottle of alcohol. It is a warning that is highlighted on the bottle of alcohol itself but still, people buy and consume alcohol. Alcohol is a drug and people consuming it slowly become addicted to this drug. The habit of alcohol consumption is like a sweet poison that seems to be good initially but becomes fatal in the future.

Need for Ban on Alcohol

The habit of alcohol consumption has become a crucial problem in society. The consumption of alcohol has now become a fashion trend in society. There are a number of people who die due to excessive alcohol consumption for a longer time. There are also numerous problems resulting due to excessive alcohol consumption by people. The consumption of alcohol has become a social evil in society. There are fights in many families because of alcohol addict people. This is because these people waste money on alcohol instead of giving it to fulfill the needs of the family.

The young generation of society is becoming more addicted to this drug. They drink for merrymaking and enjoyment without realizing the future side effects of alcohol. The ban on the sale of alcohol in the nation can only help in eradicating these problems from society. Alcohol Ban means there will be no availability of alcohol in the nation. The people will themselves leave the habit of consuming alcohol when they do not get the same.

The excessive drinking of alcohol results in liver cancers and other organ damages. Road accidents in drink and drive cases lead to the death of many people. Many schools and college students have destroyed their lives because of the consumption of this poison. There must be strict restrictions imposed on the sale of alcohol. The prohibition on alcohol is only the step that can be the best solution to this crucial issue.

Long Essay on Why Alcohol Should Be Banned (500 – 600 Words)

Introduction

The consumption of alcohol is a common problem in society in India as well as in other nations. The overuse of anything is harmful and is equivalent to poison. The addiction to alcohol totally ruins the life of a person. It makes a person lose health, wealth as well as respect in family and society. The people who are addicted to this drug are wasting money instead of utilizing it in a proper way. A ban is much necessary to control the adverse effects of this misuse.

Alcoholism Becoming a Common Trend

The drinking of alcohol at parties, festivals, and other occasions has become very common. Many people think drinking habits to be subject to their self-esteem. If any person is not involved in drinking, they are considered as a poor class fellow.

College students are also greatly influenced by this habit. They develop the habit of drinking for the purpose of enjoyment. This makes them suffer a lot in the future.

Alcohol Consumption Causing Detrimental Health Effects

The consumption of alcohol makes a person lose sensitivity and thinking capability. The person utters unwanted words as the body is no longer under control for a longer duration depending upon the dose taken. Alcohol is also causing several types of cancer in the people who are greatly addicted to it.

The liver is the organ inside our body responsible for the detoxification of toxic materials. Therefore alcohol is also detoxified in the liver. Taking a small amount of alcohol is not causing any kind of harm. The higher dose intake and on daily basis is harmful and causes liver cirrhosis in many cases. It is mostly untreatable resulting in the painful death of the person. It also leads to several heart-related problems. Alcohol consumption is greatly responsible for the rapid death of many people due to heart attacks or incurable diseases like cancer.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Ban on Alcohol

Advantages:

  • Lessening of Family Disputes and Domestic Violence – If there is no availability of alcohol, there will be fewer fights in the families. Majority of the fight is due to the money required for drinking or ill behaviour of drunken people. There are many men who are losing their temper, abusing and beating women after drinking and this comes under domestic violence. The cases of domestic violence can also be reduced as a result of the prohibition on alcohol.
  • Accidents will be Reduced – There will be a decline in the accidents caused by rash driving after drinking. The loss of innocent lives can be prevented up to a large extent. The crime rate will also be reduced which is often caused by over drunk people.
  • Financial Wastage can be Prevented – The unwanted money wasted in buying alcohol will be saved if there is no availability of alcohol. The families would not suffer due to the financial crisis. The peaceful atmosphere of families can also be also retained.
  • Health Problems due to Alcohol Consumption will be Reduced – The heath issues caused by drinking would be controlled and no one has to suffer from serious health problems and diseases like cancer and heart problems.

Disadvantages:

  • Financial Loss to the Government – The ban on alcohol will stop the revenue which is generated by manufacturing alcohol and its sale. This will incur a great loss of the economy to the government.
  • Black Marketing will be a Practised – The ban on the legal availability of alcohol will create opportunities for black marketing of alcohol. The unwanted higher rates will be charged. It will also not be safe to consume those products as it is not manufactured and sold under the supervision of the government.

Alcohol Banned in the Various Indian States

There have been continuing efforts taken by the government of India to impose a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages. The states like Bihar, Gujarat, Nagaland, Mizoram, and the union territory of Lakshadweep have a ban on the sale of alcoholics. Any kind of violation of rules will be subject to penalty and punishment.

Alcohol is a threat to families, society, and the nation. The legal supply of alcohol must be banned immediately. After prohibition on the sale, all people could not afford it easily. There will be a fear of punishment and penalty prevailing in the mind of people.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Ans . Alcohol consumption every day makes a person alcohol addict which is the root for serious health issues along with liver and heart diseases.

Ans . Alcohol cause weight gain as it contains excess calories and promotes your appetite which makes you hungrier.

Ans . Heavy consumption of alcohol reduces the alcohol detoxifying capacity of the liver. This damages the liver which leads to liver cirrhosis or Fibrosis.

Ans . Article 47 of the constitution under the Directive Principles of state policy gives directions to states to prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs which cause serious health issues.

Ans . The alcohol is not sold in states like Bihar, Gujarat, Mizoram, Nagaland, and the union territory of Lakshadweep but is freely sold in other states.

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Why Drinking Alcohol Should Be Banned? : Essay , Speech , Paragraph

Causes of drinking alcohol.

Why Drinking Alcohol Should Be Banned ? : Alcohol is actually ethanol , an organic compound used in beverages. So alcohol is actually drinking ethanol. It is a psychoactive drug and has importance according to social and cultural values. it acts as depressant and start controlling central nervous system thus slowing down the function of central nervous system. It alters different functions of the brain and can produce dangerous results. For example, alcohol alters the vision of a person; as a result, the person may see the things which are actually not happening.

Why Drinking Alcohol Should Be Banned ? Essay , Speech , Paragraph

Benefits of Alcohol

Alcohol has only few benefits like its small amounts can reduce the risk of gallstones lower the chance of diabetics and help in common cold but detrimental effects of alcohol are more than its benefits. In a recent study, it has been mentioned that more than 10g of alcohol can be a cause of cancer, and according to the international agency for research on cancer (IARC), alcohol is grouped a carcinogen, as a cause of many types of cancer.

Alcohol – Cause of Cancer

Not only cancer, there are many other health risks related to alcohol drinking, because when a drug controls over the nervous system, it obviously causes many risks to life. It more affects brain, liver, pancreas and slowdowns the reaction time of a person. Alcohol takes approximately 30 minutes to metabolize and to take effects and after that, a person’s thinking ability, reaction ability, and other senses slowdowns thus turning into a passive phase. At this time, the drunk person is higher at risk, not only that drunken person, but the people around him are also at risk because that drunken person can harm them by his non serious acts.

Adverse Effect of Drinking Alcohol on Society

It is very dangerous to drink while moving in society, because it diminishes a person’s respect and honor in the society and people don’t trust him. Such a person is then not able to take right decisions in life. Gradually, that person cuts off from the society and routine matters which eventually lead him to death.

This is not the end of alcohol’s risks and bad effects, but that are enough to demonstrate that how badly alcohol effect the society and man power. So drinking alcohol should be banned in the world, and its use should be limited to the medicines and treatment of some diseases.

For a Good health, stay away from alcohol 🙂

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Sienna Miller with a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other in the film High-Rise

Readers reply: why are Britain’s rules around advertising alcohol and tobacco so different?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts

Why is alcohol advertised openly in the UK, without pictures on the packaging highlighting the medical effects, for example, when tobacco is treated so differently? John Fisher, by email

Send new questions to [email protected] .

Readers reply

Alcohol is a mood-altering drug, tobacco is not. Who would you trust with your small child: a person who had just had 10 whiskies or 10 smokes? How many domestic violence incidents are recorded where the perpetrator is intoxicated or alcohol is a factor ? How many children grow up with the awful consequences of alcohol and abuse? How much Saturday night violence is caused by intoxication? How much does it cost to police the thousands of drunken incidents? How many NHS staff have to put up with drunks every night in A&E? How many people are killed by drunk drivers ? karris

World Health Organization advice now states that even one alcoholic drink a week increases your risk of seven types of cancer . There are risks in many things we choose to do, but we must stop believing that any level of alcohol consumption is risk-free much less beneficial. ledicko

If you want to have one drink a week, good for you. Life’s a risk and I’d rather enjoy whatever time I have on Earth enjoying my life, not eking out a few more years for the sake of it. yobbotony

Alcohol in moderation can be lovely, but it’s never good for you biologically . I work in the wine industry and I’d cheerfully see paid advertising for it banned. EBGB

I only watch television when I’m stuck in a hotel with nothing better to do, so what to other people may seem a gradual change is for me accelerated: the shift of TV advertising from tobacco to gambling. There isn’t even tobacco advertising at Formula One or in football stadiums, but gambling advertising is ubiquitous , during sports programmes and between them. Socialismnow

Since pre-agricultural ages, every civilisation on every inhabited continent has left evidence that they produced alcoholic drinks. Various governments have tried to control the production, but the starting point is yeasts available in the wild and some form of starch or sugar. The production and consumption are so historically entwined in society and economics that it has seriously been proposed that production of beer and wine was a major driver for organising agriculture; storing grain for brewing predates storing it for bread.

Tobacco is a relative latecomer. Growing it is nowhere near as widespread globally and producing usable forms of tobacco tends to be on a more industrial scale than possible with microbreweries, wineries or even when most brewing was for the household. Tobacco advertising rules, if not sales, have been simpler to enforce worldwide – they are absent from practically all sport played or watched internationally. Restricting the sale of wine, beer or many spirits in the same way comes up against producers far more integrated into the economy of many countries. Scottish whisky exports are worth £5.6bn a year and the industry claims to employ 66,000 people directly or indirectly. The EU wine industry has a turnover of about €130bn (£110bn) and accounts for 1.4% of employment. leadballoon

Yet again, like gambling, pretty much every comment about alcohol focuses on people who overdo it. What about the vast majority, who enjoy a few relaxing or convivial drinks? Should car adverts be banned because some people drive recklessly? RevGreen

Nothing, I repeat nothing, will ever make me understand why humans love alcohol so much. I honestly just do not get it. I never touch the stuff and I think, to my best memory, I have only ever been inside one pub. The destruction this stuff causes is worldwide. But at least its makers are making handsome profits. The baseline is always money. offy121

If you have never touched the stuff and only once been in a pub, how can you judge? I spent a couple of hours in the pub at lunchtime today (the joy of being semi retired); I enjoyed a couple of pints of well-brewed and well-kept beer in the company of about 30 people. No fighting, nobody drunk and a fair amount of coffee served up. A random natter with one of the regulars that was basically one of those Cabbages and Kings conversations. If you don’t like booze, fine, but a good pub is a fantastic community asset that you should consider frequenting. bunkendrum

I’d say it’s cultural. Alcohol causes endless suffering for many, including (or maybe especially) those who don’t drink. People often minimise the harm it does, but it’s a damaging drug, far more harmful than some illegal drugs. It’s totally illogical. LorLala

There is no rationality behind alcohol, tobacco and other drugs policy. You might start by asking why alcohol and tobacco are legal, but cannabis, MDMA and psilocybin aren’t. JohnnyVodka

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  1. Alcohol Should Be Banned: [Essay Example], 450 words

    Alcohol Should Be Banned. Alcohol is a widely consumed substance that has been a part of human civilization for centuries. It has been used for various purposes, including religious ceremonies, social gatherings, and personal consumption. However, the negative effects of alcohol on individuals and society as a whole cannot be ignored.

  2. 5 Reasons Why Alcohol Should Be Illegal Or Banned

    3. Compromises Judgement. 4. Gateway Drug. 5. Doesn't Solve Anything. Treatment For Alcohol Abuse. From 1920 to 1933, the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages was illegal in the United States. The Prohibition movement ended in failure, and today there are a range of economic, social, and cultural reasons why alcohol ...

  3. Alcohol Should Be Banned, Essay Sample

    I believe that alcohol consumption should be banned and laws should protect innocent people from suffering by making alcohol consumption to be illegal. Alcohol has limited benefits, but the consequences of its misuse cause negative impact to the society. That is why I believe that alcohol needs to be banned. Writing sample of essay on a given ...

  4. Should Alcohol Be Banned Pros and Cons?

    This type of ban can help to reduce alcohol-related harm, while still allowing people to enjoy a drink in a controlled environment. However, a partial ban on alcohol has its own drawbacks. Limiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in certain contexts can lead to an increase in illegal activities, such as the sale of alcohol on the black market.

  5. Why Alcohol Should Be Banned Or Even Illegal

    Unfortunately, drinking alcohol can have serious consequences, especially if you drink too much. About 19% of Americans struggle with excessive drinking (also called alcohol abuse). Among Ohio residents, that rate jumps to 20.2%. Because drinking can lead to alcohol abuse and other issues, some people think the drug should be banned.

  6. Alcohol Should Be Illegal Essay

    The Legal Drinking Age Should Be Legal Essay People drink liquor for various reasons; anxiety, celebration, insomnia etc. Teenagers fall under the category of "people". The legal drinking age presently is twenty-one in the United States Of America. I can guarantee you that the underage drinking age rate would drop if the age were ...

  7. Alcohol consumption and alcohol policy

    In high-income countries, alcohol consumption per capita is 9.8 liters and only 11.4% of all alcohol consumption is unregistered. In low- and middle-income countries, the amount of alcohol consumption per capita is 3.8 and 4.7 liters, respectively. About 40% of all alcohol consumed in these countries is unregistered.

  8. Is drinking good for you in any way? If not, why is alcohol legal for

    Substance use disorder. Alcohol prohibition. Register now. Consuming alcohol makes accidents more likely and it can harm your heart, your liver and even change your brain. But making the sale of ...

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    Alcohol Essay 10. Alcohol is a drug that is classified as a central nervous system depressant. There are three forms of alcohol, beer, wine and distilled spirits. Alcohol is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States and has more adverse effects that most other drugs combined.

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    In concluding, the alcohol use should be banned as alcohol consumption contributes to the increase in domestic violence, community violence, accidents on the roads, and road fatalities. People have been entrusted with the right to drink, but have been abusing this right throughout the decades; as a result, there should be a ban on the use of ...

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    PAGES 8 WORDS 2844. Drinking alcohol in large quantities lowers the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that helps people to feel good and be in a good mood. Overconsumption of alcohol can destroy this chemical. Antidepressants are made to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, but if too much alcohol is consumed it ...

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    Abusing alcohol can lead to addiction, a disease that can end in overdose and death. Innocent people die from the actions of those who abuse alcohol every day. Despite these facts, banning alcohol is unlikely because: Prohibition didn't work. Bootleggers and gangsters distributed low-quality alcohol in a lawless, unregulated market.

  14. Alcohol Should Be Banned Speech

    Alcohol can have many different physical effects on your body. Short term effects can include nausea, disorientation, slurred speech and dizziness. Anyone who has consumed alcohol in excess will also feel the effects the next morning, which is commonly referred to as a hangover. Alcohol will cause your body to urinate more, leading to ...

  15. Restricting or banning alcohol advertising to reduce alcohol

    Selection criteria. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, controlled before‐and‐after studies and interrupted time series (ITS) studies that evaluated the restriction or banning of alcohol advertising via any format including advertising in the press, on the television, radio, or internet, via billboards ...

  16. Essay on Alcohol Ban

    Short Essay on Alcohol Ban (250 words) 'Drinking is injurious to health' is clearly written on the bottle of alcohol. It is a warning that is highlighted on the bottle of alcohol itself but still, people buy and consume alcohol. ... Long Essay on Why Alcohol Should Be Banned (500 - 600 Words) Introduction. The consumption of alcohol is a ...

  17. Why Drinking Alcohol Should Be Banned? : Essay , Speech , Paragraph

    Alcohol - Cause of Cancer. Not only cancer, there are many other health risks related to alcohol drinking, because when a drug controls over the nervous system, it obviously causes many risks to life. It more affects brain, liver, pancreas and slowdowns the reaction time of a person.

  18. Argumentative Essay: Alcohol Should Be Banned

    Alcohol is one of the leading causes of life threatening diseases. Alcohol is shown to be good and that it helps make you happy or helps you have a better time; however, alcohol is a slow poison to the body and the mind. Therefore alcohol should be banned because it influences people to make bad decisions, leads to binge drinking and lastly it ...

  19. Why Alcoholic Advertisements Should Be Banned Media Essay

    Without the advertisements most people would not know about the alcohol. This is known as causation. Alcohol advertisements are a great influence both directly and indirectly. In conclusion, alcoholic advertisements should be banned. The advertisements provide alcohol as an enhancement and can lead to future drinking problems for the youth.

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    Decent Essays. 764 Words. 4 Pages. Open Document. Should Alcohol be banned? According to google, Alcohol is a colourless volatile flammable liquid which is produced by the natural fermentation of sugars and is intoxicating constituent of wine, spirits, beer and other drinks, and is also used as an industrial solvent and as a fuel. However, from ...

  22. Readers reply: why are Britain's rules around advertising alcohol and

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