261538 Assessing the implementation and enforcement of the Baltimore City alcohol and tobacco advertisement billboard ban

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Peter Meisel, BS , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Raimee Eck, MPH, MPA , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
David H. Jernigan, PhD , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Issues Longitudinal studies have shown that youth exposure to alcohol advertising predicts the onset of drinking among non-drinkers and increased levels of drinking among drinkers. In the early 1990s, social movements in numerous cities passed ordinances banning or restricting alcohol and tobacco billboards, yet to our knowledge no one has studied the implementation and enforcement of these ordinances.

Description In 1994, Baltimore City was the first city to place a general ban on alcohol and tobacco billboard advertisements, and the ban survived challenges that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Allowing for few exceptions, these ordinances initially reduced the amount of alcohol and tobacco billboard advertisements roughly 95% in Baltimore City. The Master Settlement Agreement subsequently banned tobacco from outdoor advertising. Since implementation, regulation and enforcement of the alcohol billboard ban has occurred sporadically at the neighborhood level with volunteer community activists, elected representatives, and city agencies working in conjunction to enforce the ban.

Lessons Learned Sustained community input and activism is critical to maintaining the effects of alcohol billboard bans. Media advocacy can also assist in the continued enforcement of the ban.

Recommendations Cities continue to have the power to ban or restrict outdoor advertising of alcohol, particularly in publicly owned spaces. Passage of billboard ordinances needs to be followed up with continued community engagement and surveillance, as well as further efforts to limit outdoor alcohol advertising.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1-Identify tools available at the community level for limiting outdoor advertising of alcohol 2-Describe the importance of community input and activism in the passage, implementation, and ongoing enforcement of alcohol billboard bans 3-Appreciate the role of enforcement in implementation of alcohol policies 4-Identify the Constitutional rights of communities to regulate advertising location.

Keywords: Adolescents, Alcohol

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered