NBC NEWS – African American youth culture is steeped in alcohol. References to booze have long been rife in rap music, and Jay Z, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Ludacris are among the hip-hop luminaries who have promoted alcohol.

A new study puts some fresh data behind long-standing concerns about alcohol marketing to black kids. Young African Americans ages 12 to 20 see far more alcohol ads on television and in magazines than youths in general, according to the report published Thursday by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Researchers said two key factors are at play: Many alcohol ads specifically target African Americans and African American youth consume more media than youth overall. For example, African American youths watched 53 percent more television than youths in general in 2010, according to Nielsen data cited in the study.

Frank Coleman, senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a leading trade group, said he hadn’t seen the study and couldn’t comment on it. But he said the industry does not target youth. “The beer, wine and spirits industry (is) totally opposed to underage drinking and spends millions of dollars a year fighting it,” Coleman said.

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