Alcohol outlets near schools in a midsize Romanian city : prevalence and characteristics


Hoof, Joris J. van and Reijlink, Lian M.J. and Dalen, Wim E. van (2010) Alcohol outlets near schools in a midsize Romanian city : prevalence and characteristics. Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine, 18 (4). 295 - 300. ISSN 1221-8618

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Abstract:Objective: alcohol availability is one of the strongest predictors of adolescent alcohol use, and subsequent harm. Alcohol outlets near schools are an important indicator of three types of availability related to adolescent alcohol use; physical (number), economic (price), and legal (compliance with age limits).

Method: two teams with trained students (16 and 17 years old) visited all 37 schools in a 200,000 inhabitant Romanian city (Pitesti). On the spot all alcohol outlets were visited and data was collected on outlet characteristics and visitors. Also, by conducting mystery shopping purchase attempts by the researchers, compliance on the age limits for alcohol sales was tested.

Results: a total of 40 outlets were found within a 250 meter distance around 23 schools. Alcohol turns out to be cheap, and commercial alcohol brand signs are dominantly visible. With respect to compliance with the 18-year-old Romanian age limit for alcohol sales, only eight (20%) outlets refused to sell alcohol to under aged decoy customers.

Conclusion: adolescent alcohol availability is high on the physical, economic and legal aspect. Pitesti is the first city in
Romania where an international alcohol prevention project has started to reduce alcohol related consequences. This project
involves all relevant stakeholders, and the first new legislation on this subject had been implemented.
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Copyright:© 2010 Romanian Society of Legal Medicine
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS)
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