Study Shows Hispanic Youth Overexposed to Alcohol Ads

INDIANAPOLIS ­ The Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and the Indiana Latino Institute (ICRUD will release results of the “Hispanic Youth Access to Alcohol”; Youth Exposure to Alcohol Advertising” survey as part of the recognition of the Cinco De Mayo As a part of the Alcohol Awareness Month cele-bration and the commen-cement of the 2003 Orange Ribbon Week Campaign designed to educate and build awareness about underage drinking issues. Students Against Destructive Decisions(SADD) also take part in this event as part of their annual statewide conference.

The “Youth Access to AlcoholHispanic Youth Exposure to Alcohol Advertising” survey, conducted by the the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), and conducted by Virtual Media Resources (VMR),Mathematica Policy Research Institute, Inc. and analyzed by the University of Minnesota Division of Epidemiology, assessed the knowledge of, attitudes towards, and level of public support for alcohol policies auditsed the exposure of Hispanic youth to alcohol advertising in magazines, on the radio, and on television advertising in 2002. Following are highlights from the survey:

Hispanic youth saw even more alcohol advertising in magazines than non-Hispanic youth ­ 24% more beer/ale ads, 24% more distilled spirits ads, and 32% more ads for “alcopops” and “malternatives.”

Hispanic youth heard more alcohol advertising on the radio than non-Hispanic youth (English language radio with major Hispanic markets) ­ (English language radio with major Hispanic markets) 9% more distilled spirits ads and 17% more ads for “alcopops.”

Alcohol ads were placed on a majority of TV programs most popular with Hispanic youth ­ alcohol advertisers spent $23.6 million to place ads on 12 out of 15 shows most popular with Hispanic youth (Vias Del Amor, Para Creer, That 70’s Show, and MadTV).

BothThe Hispanic youth exposure on radio and television and the spending on alcohol advertising were both concentrated in a few markets ­ five markets accounted for 85% of the spending by alcohol advertisers on Spanish language television.

89% of respondents are concerned about underage drinking.
55% of respondents agree that people who drink should pay higher taxes to reduce the problems associated with drinking.
81% of respondents favor and increase of 5 cents per drink on alcohol to pay for programs to prevent underage drinking.
72% of respondents favor an alcohol tax increase if funds generated by this tax were used to lower other taxes.
84% of respondents favor mandatory alcohol service training for all employees who sell alcohol.


These survey results support the Coalition’s backing for an increase in the state’s alcohol tax. Indiana’s alcohol tax has not been raised since 1981, resulting in a loss of revenue for the state, as well as increased health risks for all Hoosiers ­ including an increase in alcohol-related traffic crashes, violent crimes and cases of liver cirrhosis. Indiana’s alcohol taxes are lower than all the surrounding states, except Kentucky, and Indiana taxes are significantly lower than the national average. For example, Indiana’s tax on beer is 1.08 cents per drink compared to the national average of 5 cents per drink.Hispanics are the fastest growing population, both nationally and within the state in the United States and Indiana. In Indiana, Tthe population has grown from 93,000 in 1998 to 216,000 in 2000. Research shows that a concentration of alcohol ads depicting Latinas as sexual objects lead to increased violence against Latinas between the ages of 15 and 18 (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, 1997). Moreover, Hispanic/ Latino students are significantly more likely to use alcohol (54%) than African-American students (37%) (Youth at Risk Behavior Surveillance, 1997).

Hispanic/Latino youth have the right to live and learn in an environments that does not promote or facilitate underage drinking, and that includes what they read, watch, and listen to. “To say that the alcohol industry does not market their products to targeted cultures or groups, like Hispanic/Latino youth, is ridiculous. If that is the case, I would challenge them to give away the estimated $27 billion they make annually from underage drinkers, since they say they do not want their business,.”, said Lisa Hutcheson, director of the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking. The coalition supports policies such as stricter controls on alcohol advertising as a solution to reducing underage drinking. The coalition and the Indiana Latino Institute are working together to reduce youth access to alcohol in the Hispanic/Latino community. The youth event also will highlight the “SADD Student of the Year” and Award, the “Quick Click” challenge where teams of students will race against the clock to see how quickly they can get in and out of a car ­ making sure to buckle up. The event will commence with the youth signing a 20-foot banner to show their commitment to staying alcohol free, and the release of 500 orange balloons to kick-off Orange Ribbon Week. More than 200 students will be in attendance wearing orange T-shirts. A press conference will take place at 1:30 p.m. on the steps of the RCA Dome (NE corner of Capitol).

Since the Coalition’s inception in 1997, the percentage of monthly underage drinkers in Indiana has dropped from 35 percent to approximately 31 percent. The Coalition’s member individuals and organizations work diligently to build awareness throughout the state with legislators, media and the general public about the serious problem of underage drinking and the policies that are key to reducing youth access to alcohol.

The Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, a project of the Mental Health Association in Indiana, is one of 12 coalitions nationwide participating in the “Reducing Underage Drinking through Coalitions” funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with national program support from the American Medical Association.