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Does minimum pricing reduce alcohol consumption? The experience of a Canadian province
Article first published online: 11 FEB 2012
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 107, Issue 5, pages 912–920, May 2012
How to Cite
Stockwell, T., Auld, M. C., Zhao, J. and Martin, G. (2012), Does minimum pricing reduce alcohol consumption? The experience of a Canadian province. Addiction, 107: 912–920. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03763.x
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 11 FEB 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 14 DEC 2011 08:21PM EST
- Submitted 24 August 2011; initial review completed 17 October 2011; final version accepted 5 December 2011
- Alcohol consumption;
- minimum prices;
- public health;
- regression analysis
Aims Minimum alcohol prices in British Columbia have been adjusted intermittently over the past 20 years. The present study estimates impacts of these adjustments on alcohol consumption.
Design Time–series and longitudinal models of aggregate alcohol consumption with price and other economic data as independent variables.
Setting British Columbia (BC), Canada.
Participants The population of British Columbia, Canada, aged 15 years and over.
Measurements Data on alcohol prices and sales for different beverages were provided by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch for 1989–2010. Data on household income were sourced from Statistics Canada.
Findings Longitudinal estimates suggest that a 10% increase in the minimum price of an alcoholic beverage reduced its consumption relative to other beverages by 16.1% (P < 0.001). Time–series estimates indicate that a 10% increase in minimum prices reduced consumption of spirits and liqueurs by 6.8% (P = 0.004), wine by 8.9% (P = 0.033), alcoholic sodas and ciders by 13.9% (P = 0.067), beer by 1.5% (P = 0.043) and all alcoholic drinks by 3.4% (P = 0.007).
Conclusions Increases in minimum prices of alcoholic beverages can substantially reduce alcohol consumption.