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The extent of alcohol advertising in Australia: an audit of bus stop advertisements

To the Editor: There is significant concern about drinking patterns and alcohol-related harm among young people. A comprehensive approach to preventing harm from alcohol is needed, with population approaches including curbs on alcohol promotion.1 The National Preventative Health Taskforce has recommended phasing out alcohol promotions “from times and placements which have high exposure to young people”.1

Exposure to alcohol advertising influences young people; research consistently shows strong associations between exposure to alcohol advertising and young people’s early initiation to alcohol, and increased consumption if they already use alcohol.2 Concerns about the ability of Australia’s system of self-regulation to prevent young people’s exposure to alcohol promotions are well documented.3,4

The entire community is exposed to outdoor advertising; it dominates public spaces and is visible throughout the day. Advertisements on public transport and at transit stops are a common form of outdoor alcohol promotion. Young people are more…