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Addiction. 2012 May;107(5):912-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03763.x. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Does minimum pricing reduce alcohol consumption? The experience of a Canadian province.

Author information

1
Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada. timstock@uvic.ca

Abstract

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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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