Alcohol advertisements on social media sites such as Facebook can increase young adults' desire to drink if the ads contain pro-drinking comments from users, according to a research.
The study showed that social media users who view alcohol ads are also more likely to "Like" or "Share" an ad when it has pro-drinking comments.
These pro-drinking comments coupled with high user engagement increased the desire to drink by 3.5 times, especially in those with alcohol problems.
"Heavy alcohol users and those who are alcohol dependent may be the most susceptible to the potential effects of pro-drinking comments," said the researchers led by Jonathan Noel, from the University of Connecticut.
The ads, coupled with positive comments about drinking, may serve as alcohol cues "and an increased desire to drink after exposure to alcohol cues may predict relapse after treatment for alcoholism".