Young generation harm

The products and practices of the alcohol industry are causing disproportionate harm to children, adolescents, and young people.

Alcohol harm is a tremendous burden on the young generation of the world: Alcohol consumption causes death and disability early in life – relative to other health hazards.

Alcohol is the second largest risk factor for disease burden in the age group 10-24 years. Alcohol is the largest risk factor for disease burden in the group 25-49 years.

Alcohol harms young generation disproportionately

  • 36% of boys and 17% of girls aged 15 to 19 years have had at least one alcoholic beverage in the last year.
  • Early onset of alcohol use is an important risk factor for mental ill health (including the development of premature dementia), and
  • For the development of mental and physical health conditions during the life course, and
  • Binge alcohol use at a young age increases the risk of high-risk alcohol consumption in adult years.
  • Young people who use alcohol are at greater risk of suffering accidental injuries, violence, and worsening academic performance and productivity

Profit-driven attack on the young generation

Exposure to alcohol marketing leads to

  1. Early onset of alcohol use in children,
  2. Higher amounts of alcohol use in children and youth, if they already consume alcohol,
  3. More high-risk ways of consuming alcohol among children and youth,
  4. Shaping more positive attitudes, expectancies, and judgements towards alcohol in the young generation, and
  5. Determining brand allegiance and loyalty early on and for an entire life.

Alcohol is the second largest risk factor for disease burden in the age group 10-24 years. Alcohol is the largest risk factor for disease burden in the group 25-49 years.

How the products and practices of Big Alcohol harm the young generation

Alcohol promotion drives risk of early alcohol use onset
Alcohol-free 12-year-olds who possess a promotional item from an alcohol producer have a 77% higher risk of starting to use alcohol one year later, compared to children who do not possess a promotional item and do not have a favourite alcohol brand.
Alcohol marketing exposure is risk factor for alcohol use disorder
Kids who began consuming alcohol before the age of 15 were 5.6 times more likely to report having alcohol use disorder in the past year as adults.
Alcohol marketing drives risk of unintentional injury in youth
Youth who begin alcohol consumption before the age of 15 are 12 times more likely to suffer unintentional injuries, compared to youth who stay alcohol-free until they are 21 years old.

Children’s vulnerability to second-hand harm due to alcohol

Millions of children are in especially vulnerable situation when they grow up in households affected by alcohol use disorder and addiction.

  • In Vietnam, more than 20% of carers reported that their children suffered harm due to alcohol use in the household.
  • In Australia, more than a million children (22% of all children) are affected by the secondhand effects of alcohol.
  • In Northern Sri Lanka, alcohol use in Tamil families is linked with child abuse.
  • Fathers’ alcohol use was the strongest predictor of paternal violence perpetration against children
  • In Sweden, a total of 13.1% of children has at least one parent with an alcohol use problem during adolescence

Alcohol is a major obstacle to sustainable development and economic prosperity.

more Harms caused by Big alcohol

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