Do alcohol pricing and availability policies have differential effects on sub-populations? A commentary

  • Norman Giesbrecht Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Ashley Wettlaufer Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Samantha Cukier Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Gillian Geddie Royal Holloway University of London
  • André-Henrique Gonçalves Federal University of Bahia
  • Emilene Reisdorfer Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Keywords: alcohol pricing, alcohol availability, differential effects, gender, age, drinking patterns, alcohol-related harm

Abstract

Giesbrecht, N., Wettlaufer, A., Cukier, S., Geddie, G., Gonçalves, A., & Reisdorfer, E. (2016). Do alcohol pricing and availability policies have differential effects on sub-populations? A commentary. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 5(3), 89-99. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v5i3.227

Aims: Numerous policies have been shown to reduce the harm from alcohol; however, not all sub-populations respond similarly to policy interventions. This paper explores the specific effects of alcohol pricing policies and controls regarding physical availability on different types of harms from alcohol as well as on different sectors of the population, including impacts by gender, age, and drinking patterns.

Design, Setting, Participants, and Measures: We focus on two dimensions. The first is alcohol pricing and taxation; the second is alcohol availability, comprising type of alcohol control system, outlet density, and hours/days of sale. We focused on peer-reviewed research and reviews published from 2005–2015, using several databases: PsycINFO, MEDLINE/PubMed, and Cochrane.

Findings: Precautionary alcohol prices have substantial harm reduction potential, particularly among youth and high-risk drinkers. Restrictions on outlet densities and hours/days of sale impact the drinking patterns of underage youth, reduce high-risk drinking, and reduce alcohol-related harm. A reduction in prices or an increase in alcohol availability are associated with increase in high-risk drinking or alcohol-related harm.

Conclusions: Future work should examine these policy measures in light of socioeconomic status and cultural factors, as well as impacts of policy interventions on evidence of harm to others from alcohol.

Author Biographies

Norman Giesbrecht, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Ashley Wettlaufer, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada
Samantha Cukier, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center on Alcohol Marketing & Youth, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Gillian Geddie, Royal Holloway University of London
Royal Holloway University of London, London, United Kingdom
André-Henrique Gonçalves, Federal University of Bahia
Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil
Emilene Reisdorfer, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada
Published
2016-07-28
How to Cite
Giesbrecht, N., Wettlaufer, A., Cukier, S., Geddie, G., Gonçalves, A.-H., & Reisdorfer, E. (2016). Do alcohol pricing and availability policies have differential effects on sub-populations? A commentary. The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 5(3), 89-99. https://doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v5i3.227
Section
Commentary