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efits from technologies that are at the cutting edge of information societies. The regulatory frameworks for alcohol marketing, in contrast, were developed in the first part of the previous century and have changed little in the interim.

This chapter will begin with a brief summary of the shape of and trends in the alcohol market in the United States, with particular attention to youth consumption. It will then describe the nature of and trends in alcohol marketing, particularly as these pertain to young people; the structure of the alcohol industry and key players in it; and the shape and effectiveness of regulatory and self-regulatory frameworks within which those players operate. The paper will conclude with a discussion of needs for further developments both in research and in public policies.


In 2001, Americans paid more than $135 billion for alcoholic beverages (Impact Databank, 2002a). Per capita alcohol consumption among Americans peaked in 1980. It is now 16 percent lower than it was in 1980 (see Figure 12-1), although it has begun to increase again in recent years.

FIGURE 12-1 Adult (15+) per capita alcohol consumption in the United States, 1961-2000.

SOURCE: World Health Organization, 2002.

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