Ban alcohol advertisements on MBTA property!
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On November 20, 2017, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Board voted to allow alcohol advertising on some of its train stations and bus shelters. This decision will benefit the pockets of Big Alcohol and advertising firms while posing harm to youth.
Public health researchers have found that the more youth see alcohol ads, the more likely they are to participate in underage drinking. Research demonstrates that underage drinking has led to unplanned, unwanted or unprotected sex, accidental injuries and eventually alcohol dependence. It is important to note that underage drinking cost Massachusetts residents $1.2 billion in 2013, far more than what the MBTA hopes to make from opening its property to alcohol ads.
The MBTA has a history of exposing low-income youth to a greater number of alcohol advertisements than their wealthier peers. The MBTA claims that it will limit the placement of alcohol ads to spaces and times that receive less youth traffic. These restrictions will not lessen teen exposure. These ads will likely place an unfair burden on youth who are not engaged in school nor work, and already face an increased risk of negative health outcomes.
The harm posed by alcohol advertising is so consequential that in 2012, prevention advocates across Massachusetts were successful in influencing the MBTA to adopt a policy that prohibits alcohol advertising on MBTA property. This ban allowed the state to provide a healthier environment for youth who rely upon public transportation to get to and from school and other activities for five years. In October of 2017, the New York City transportation authority voted to ban alcohol advertising, following in the steps of the MBTA.
The MBTA Board may have recently voted to reverse the alcohol ad ban, but we can organize to get it reinstated!
If you care about the environment in which Massachusetts youth live, work and play, please sign this petition.
Numerous signatures will demonstrate to the MBTA Board that many people care about this issue AND will strongly advocate to reinstate the ban in 2018.
Today: Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force is counting on you
Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force needs your help with “Fiscal and Management Control Board: Ban alcohol advertisements on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) property.”. Join Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force and 280 supporters today.