Reducing harm caused by alcohol


Online Alcohol Sales & Deliveries: A survey of young people in Scotland

20% of children and young people surveyed said either they or a friend had bought or tried to buy alcohol online.

Further action is needed to better understand the extent and impact of online sales on children and young people, and to develop an appropriate response.

The anonymous online survey asked children and young people under the age of 18 whether they or a friend had bought or tried to buy alcohol online. They were asked why they chose to buy online, the types of alcohol purchased, and what age verification processes they came across.

While measures such as mandatory age verification policies seem successful in deterring young people from trying to buy alcohol in-person from shops, supermarkets, and off-licenses, the increase of online sales causes concern among public health advocates, as it is unclear how age verification can be effectively implemented.

Alcohol presents risks for all age groups, but children and young people are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of alcohol. As alcohol is cheap, readily available, and heavily marketed, children and young people are growing up in a pro-alcohol society where drinking is seen as the norm.

For more information and to read AFS’ recommendations: