An article published online in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health reviews the available literature and evaluate the impact of alcohol warning labels on adolescent drinking, knowledge and behaviour.
The introduction of alcohol warning labels was shown to be associated with an initial increased awareness of alcohol warning label law, exposure to the labels, and increased recognition of the warning label messages. Little change was observed in terms of beliefs about the risks of alcohol use or participation in risky alcohol-related behaviours. These findings are similar to those reported among adult samples. However, the vast majority of the literature originated from the same group of authors, with samples drawn from a single geographical region. This may greatly limit the findings.
The authors suggest that the introduction of alcohol warning labels in Australia may increase awareness about the risks of alcohol consumption among adolescents; however, these labels appear unlikely to change adolescent drinking behaviours or beliefs about alcohol-related risks. According to the researchers, further research in multiple cultural contexts is required to confirm these findings, but alcohol warning labels should be considered as only one aspect of a range of other proven strategies to change knowledge, attitudes and behaviour.
Source: Alcohol warning labels: unlikely to affect alcohol-related beliefs and behaviours in adolescents, Scholes Balog KE; Heerde JA; Hemphill SA. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. Published early online 8 November 2012.