Compliance with age limits for the sales of alcoholic beverages in Romania. Designing and evaluating a three year campaign (English version)
The availability of alcohol in general is the most important predictor of alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse in adolescents. Alcohol availability can divided into economic (alcohol prices and discounts), physical (number of alcohol outlets, opening hours), legal (age limits on drinking and purchasing alcohol) and social availability (at home availability, parental behavior and parenting style). When protecting youth from alcohol use, the legal availability is the strongest instrument.Of course, when legislation states that alcohol is not allowed to be sold to people under a certain age, both on-premise (e.g., bars) and off-premise (e.g.,supermarkets) alcohol outlet personnel should be trained and enforced in complying with legal age limits. In order to explore baseline compliance to this legislation a mystery shopping study was conducted in a Romanian city. Under ages and trained students tried to buy alcohol in to explore to what extent alcohol sellers comply with this legal age limits. This compliance level turned out to be 0%. Within the alcohol project, therefore, it was decided to develop a campaign in which the importance of this age limit was communicated. After this campaign, again compliance was measured. Compliance was improved in the on-premise (bars) outlets only. Despite that the results on compliance with the age limit in practice were not strong directly after the campaign, both elements from that intervention and the research method can be used in other Romanian cities to improve and measure compliance with age limits on the sales of alcohol.
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