Critchlow N, Jones D, Moodie C, MacKintosh AM, Fitzgerald N, Hooper L, Thomas C & Vohra J (2020) Awareness of product-related information, health messages and warnings on alcohol packaging among adolescents: A cross-sectional survey in the United Kingdom. Journal Of Public Health, 42 (3), pp. e223-e230. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdz080
Background: Alcohol packaging can be used to communicate product-related information, health messages, and health warnings to consumers. We examined awareness and recall of such information and messaging among adolescents in the United Kingdom.
Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 11-19 year olds in the United Kingdom (n=3,399), with participants asked if they had seen any information, health messages or warnings on alcohol packaging in the past month (Yes/No) and, if so, what they recalled. We also assessed higher-risk drinking among current drinkers (>5 Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption) and susceptibility to consume among never-drinkers.
Results: One-third (32%) of participants had seen information, health messages or warnings on alcohol packaging. Chi-Square tests showed awareness was greater for current drinkers than never-drinkers (46% vs. 19%; p < 0.001), higher-risk drinkers than lower-risk drinkers (55% vs. 39%; P < 0.001), and susceptible never-drinkers than non-susceptible never-drinkers (21% vs. 16%; P = 0.01). Ten messages were recalled, with drinking responsibly (18%) and not drinking during pregnancy (13%) most recalled.
Most young drinkers, including almost half of higher-risk drinkers, did not recall seeing any information, health messages or warnings on alcohol packaging in the past month, suggesting that current labelling is failing to reach this key audience.
alcohol labelling; alcohol packaging; health messages; health warnings; social marketing; young people
Journal Of Public Health: Volume 42, Issue 3