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Researchers Push For Ban On Alcohol Ads on T

Boston University Professor Michael Siegel says alcohol ads on the T, like this one for Absolut vodka, clearly target college students, most of whom are under the legal age for the sale of alcohol. (Courtesy Michael Siegel)

Boston University Professor Michael Siegel says alcohol ads on the T, like this one for Absolut vodka, clearly target college students, most of whom are under the legal age for the sale of alcohol. (Courtesy Michael Siegel)

Boston University researchers who studied how many alcohol ads young people see on the MBTA on a typical day are calling for a ban on alcohol advertising on the T.

To do their study (PDF), the researchers rode each of the T’s four subway lines and counted the alcohol ads in every car. They found that the average train has two alcohol ads per car, and that almost 10,000 Boston Public School students take the T each day.

Professor Michael Siegel of the BU School of Public Health led the study and said there’s a proven link between alcohol advertising and teenage drinking.

“The state should not allow its property to be used by alcohol companies to recruit, entice and eventually convince youths to start drinking,” Siegel said, “especially when the legal age for purchasing alcohol is 21.”

Siegel said the state Legislature should pass a pending bill that would ban alcohol advertising on state property, including on the T.

The study appears in the American Journal of Public Health.

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