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This study determined the associations between alcohol use exposures, marketing, education, and problem drinking and drunkenness among youth living in the slums of Kampala. This cross-sectional study of youth was conducted in 2011 to quantify and describe high-risk behavior and exposures in a convenience sample (N=457) of urban youth living in the slums, 14–24 years of age, who were participating in a drop-in center for disadvantaged street youth. Logistic regression analyses were computed to determine associations between alcohol use exposures, marketing exposures, alcohol education, and problem drinking and drunkenness while controlling for possible confounders. Among participants, 30.2% reported problem drinking and 32.8% reported drunkenness. In multivariate analyses, obtaining free drinks was associated with problem drinking (AOR: 2.47; 95% CI =  1.23–4.96) and drunkenness (AOR: 2.40; 95% CI = 1.22–4.70) after controlling for potential confounders. Alcohol education measures were not significantly associated with either problem drinking or drunkenness in multivariate analyses. There are important associations between alcohol marketing and drinking among these youth. Moreover, the findings underscore the need for additional research related to the impact of alcohol marketing among vulnerable youth and also the need for policy regulations that restrict alcohol marketing that involve providing free alcohol directly to youth.


This article was originally published in ISRN Public Health and is reposted here with the permission of the author. Copyright © 2013 Monica H. Swahn, Jane B. Palmier and Rogers Kasirye. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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