[PDF] Youth engagement with alcohol brands in the UK

Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK;University of Stirling
Publication date:
02 November 2017


Alcohol consumption is believed to be linked to approximately 12,800 cancer cases annually in the UK and is linked to seven types of cancer, including two of the most common, female breast and bowel. If current alcohol consumption trends continue, it will lead to an estimated 135,000 cancer deaths over the next 20 years and £2bn in cancer costs to the NHS.

Levels of alcohol consumption in the UK for 15 year olds remain amongst the highest in the Western World. In 2014, 38% of 11-15 year olds in England reported ever trying an alcoholic drink. Whilst the root causes of under-age drinking in Britain are undoubtedly complex, industry claims that their marketing merely influences switching between brands and do not affect overall consumption does not accord with the evidence.

The aim of this study was to examine ways in which alcohol marketing influences teenagers. Qualitative focus groups were conducted with youths in Bristol and Scotland. Interviews with academics and public policy specialists were held to discuss current and future options for controlling industry marketing.