Has Awareness of the Alcohol Warning Label Reached Its Upper Limit?


  • This study was supported in part by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grants AA08561 and AA07606.

Reprint requests: Janet R. Hankin, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Wayne State University, F/AB 2265, Detroit, MI 48202.


Has awareness of the alcoholic beverage warning label reached its maximum? This study tracks changes in the level of awareness among a sample of 7334 inner-city African-American gravidas seeking prenatal care between May 1989 and June 1993. Previously, we found that a significant increase in awareness of the warning label occurred in March 1990. In the current analysis over a 50-month period, the level of awareness continued to increase through December 1992 and then leveled off, suggesting a negatively accelerated growth function. The logistic function fitted to the awareness curve predicts that the upper limit of awareness in this population has been reached (the predicted upper limit being 81.5%). In addition a logit regression analysis showed that women who did not know about the warning label were more likely to be over 29 years of age. Heavier drinkers were 1.25 times more likely to be aware of the label. Among those drinkers who were not aware of the label, 30% drank at both conception and antenally, thus putting their fetus at high risk for alcohol-related birth defects.