Teenagers have been drinking alcohol for centuries. In pre-Revolutionary America, young apprentices were handed buckets of ale. In the 1890's, at the age of 15, the writer Jack London regularly drank grown sailors under the table.

For almost as long, concerned adults have tried to limit teenage alcohol consumption. In the 1830's, temperance societies administered lifelong abstinence pledges to schoolchildren. Today, public health experts regularly warn that teenage drinkers run greatly increased risks of involvement in car accidents, fights and messy scenes in Cancún.

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