AAP just says no to alcohol and tobacco advertising

October 1, 2010

The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for changes to tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drug advertising to help prevent substance abuse among adolescents.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for changes to tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drug advertising to help prevent substance abuse among adolescents. In a policy statement published in the October issue of Pediatrics, the AAP recommended that all tobacco ads should be removed from the media and recommends restrictions on ads for alcohol and prescription drugs, including a ban on advertising for erectile function drugs until after 10 PM. In addition, the AAP said that substance abuse prevention programs should include education about advertising and media and that schools should institute media education programs.

The AAP said pediatricians should take steps to help reduce the amount of substance-related advertising children are exposed to by keeping waiting rooms free from publications that advertise cigarettes and alcohol, discussing with parents the amount of media children watch, and encouraging parents to remove televisions from children's bedrooms, limit unsupervised media use and exposure to television and movies containing tobacco and alcohol use and advertising, and watch media with their children. In addition, pediatricians are encouraged to promote community and legislative changes to further increase awareness and reduce exposure.

According to the AAP, industry efforts to promote alcohol and tobacco essentially amount to an effective, more than $25-billion "just say yes" campaign that may be responsible for up to 30% of adolescent tobacco and alcohol use.