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Young people, alcohol, and designer drinks

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 31 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1622

Conventional drinks are a much greater threat to health than designer drinks

  1. Paul Catterson, Third year medical studenta,
  2. Sarah Hilton, Third year medical studenta,
  3. Martin White, Senior lecturer in public healthb
  1. a Medical School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH
  2. b Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Health Sciences, Medical School, University of Newcastle
  3. c Centre for Social Marketing, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0RQ
  4. d Department of Marketing, University of Strathclyde
  5. e Health Education Board for Scotland, Edinburgh EH10 4SG

    Editor—Kirsty Hughes and colleagues report associations between young people, alcohol consumption, and designer drinks, but their conclusions are not fully supported by the data.1

    Firstly, the definitions of designer drinks in their tables and analyses are unclear. In their introduction they define designer drinks as “a new range of fortified wines, such as MD 20/20 or ‘Mad Dog’ and strong white ciders, such as White Lightning and Ice Dragon.” In table 6, however, only MD 20/20 is included, and in table 7 strong white cider, fortified/tonic wines, MD 20/20, and Buckfast appear. In table 8 only strong white cider and fortified wines are included. Which of these constitute designer drinks in each table or the authors' conclusions is unclear.

    Secondly, the authors suggest that designer drinks are particularly attractive to 14-16 …

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