Alcohol Ban Support among Youth in the EU Trend Over Time

I. The Research: Alcohol Ban Support

Researchers measured beverage alcohol ban support among young people across the European Union (EU). They interviewed 37,253 respondents 15-24 years of age from 27 EU countries. They compared alcohol ban support in 2008 and 2014.

This information is important because public alcohol policy depends on public support. And, of course, young people are the future.

II. The Findings

Overall alcohol ban support fell from 8.9% in 2008 to 6.9% in 2014. However, there was great variance among EU countries.

Country 2008 2014
Austria 5.9 4.7
Belgium 4.6 8.8
Bulgaria 7.2 7.5
Cyprus 8.9 4.3
Czech Republic 9.3 2.6
Denmark 1.2 1.6
Estonia 5.1 3.0
Finland 4.6 3.7
France 7.6 8.1
Germany 4.4 6.8
Greece 5.8 6.1
Hungary 7.4 6.3
Ireland 3.8 3.2
Italy 15.2 11.0
Latvia 13.8 8.2
Lithuania 10.0 17.1
Luxembourg 8.8 7.8
Malta 7.4 1.4
Poland 9.3 6.0
Portugal 12.1 8.2
Romania 22.3 15.1
Slovakia 14.9 10.4
Slovenia 6.5 3.1
Spain 13.7 6.9
Sweden 7.3 5.9
The Netherlands 1.3 0.8
United Kingdom 7.6 3.3

alcohol ban supportThese findings stand in sharp contrast to a recent survey in the U.S. A CNN nation-wide poll of US adults found that 18% believed drinking should be illegal. Thats almost one in five. Thus tens of millions support nation-wide alcohol prohibition. No legal beer, wine or spirits. Not even National Prohibition (1920-1933) made drinking illegal. Surprised? Discover more at What did Prohibition Prohibit? It Wasn’t Drinking Alcohol.

The EU research also looked at drugs, including cannibis. Overall support for banning cannibis fell from 67.6 down to 53.7 six years later. Only in The Netherlands did it increase, going from 45.9 to 47.2. This is a dramatic overall change and may preceed major changes in cannibis policy. Read the entire study for more specifics.

III. Source

Palladino, R., et al. Changes in support for bans of illicit drugs, tobacco, and alcohol among adolescents and young adults in Europe, 2008–2014. Int J Pub Health, 2017, 62(7), 1-9.

IV. Resources

Berridge, V. Demons: Our Changing Attitudes to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs. Oxford: Oxford U Press, 2014.

European Commission. EU Citizens’ Attitudes towards Alcohol. Brussels: TNS Opinion, 2010.

Kalafatelis, E, et al. Attitudes and Behaviour towards Alcohol Survey. Wellington, NZ: Health Promotion, 2014.

Lancaster, B. and Dudleston, A. Attitudes towards Alcohol. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive, 2002.

McGregor, B. Attitudes Toward Alcohol and Alcohol Consumption in Rural and Urban Adolescents. Canterbury, NZ: U Canterbury, 1998.

Mintel Group. Attitudes towards Alcohol. London: Mintel, 2006.

Yeomans, H. Alcohol and Moral Regulation. Public Attitudes. Chicago: Policy Press, 2014.