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BMJ. 2019 Sep 25;366:l5274. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l5274.

Immediate impact of minimum unit pricing on alcohol purchases in Scotland: controlled interrupted time series analysis for 2015-18.

O'Donnell A1, Anderson P2,3, Jané-Llopis E3,4,5, Manthey J6,7, Kaner E1, Rehm J4,6,8,9,10,11,12.

Author information

1
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Baddiley-Clark Building, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK.
2
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Baddiley-Clark Building, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK peter.anderson@newcastle.ac.uk.
3
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.
4
Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada.
5
ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain.
6
Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
7
Center for Interdisciplinary Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
8
Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
9
Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada.
10
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
11
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
12
Department of International Health Projects, Institute for Leadership and Health Management, IM Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the immediate impact of the introduction of minimum unit pricing in Scotland on household alcohol purchases.

DESIGN:

Controlled interrupted time series analysis.

SETTING:

Purchase data from Kantar Worldpanel's household shopping panel for 2015-18.

PARTICIPANTS:

5325 Scottish households, 54 807 English households as controls, and 10 040 households in northern England to control for potential cross border effects.

INTERVENTIONS:

Introduction of a minimum price of 50p (€0.55; $0.61) per UK unit (6.25p per gram) for the sale of alcohol in Scotland on 1 May 2018.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Price per gram of alcohol, number of grams of alcohol purchased from off-trade by households, and weekly household expenditure on alcohol.

RESULTS:

The introduction of minimum unit pricing in Scotland was associated with an increase in purchase price of 0.64p per gram of alcohol (95% confidence interval 0.54 to 0.75), a reduction in weekly purchases of 9.5 g of alcohol per adult per household (5.1 to 13.9), and a non-significant increase in weekly expenditure on alcohol per household of 61p (-5 to 127). The increase in purchase price was higher in lower income households and in households that purchased the largest amount of alcohol. The reduction in purchased grams of alcohol was greater in lower income households and only occurred in the top fifth of households by income that purchased the greatest amount of alcohol, where the reduction was 15 g of alcohol per week (6 to 24). Changes in weekly expenditure were not systematically related to household income but increased with increasing household purchases.

CONCLUSIONS:

In terms of immediate impact, the introduction of minimum unit pricing appears to have been successful in reducing the amount of alcohol purchased by households in Scotland. The action was targeted, in that reductions of purchased alcohol only occurred in the households that bought the most alcohol.

PMID:
31554617
PMCID:
PMC6759563
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.l5274
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; PA declares receipt of funds from AB InBev Foundation; the remaining authors declare no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; all authors declare no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

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