Youngsters, especially teenagers who sport T-shirts, hats and other wares that seem to carry an alcohol brand name on it are more likely to get inspired to initiate early with the spirits, as compared to kids who do not stock these items in their closet. This is a study conducted by Dartmouth Medical School researchers published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Auden McClure, clinical instructor in pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School and lead author of the study said,"This study is a first look at the association between alcohol-branded merchandise and initiation of alcohol use in teens. Our research found that students who owned an alcohol-branded item were significantly more likely to have initiated alcohol use than students who did not own one. We recommend that parents discourage their children from wearing these products and that schools limit the display of alcohol-branded items among students."
Dr. James Sargent, professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School and senior author on the study said "We worry about early-onset drinking because these kids are more likely to go on to misuse alcohol when they reach high school. We know from multiple studies conducted during the 1990s that ownership of tobacco branded merchandise was linked with teen smoking. That's why the tobacco companies voluntarily agreed to give up this type of marketing."
The study conducted so far, is limited in its scope, as it has not examined other influences like parent drinking, access to drinks etc..