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Monday, January 9, 2012

Increasing prices of alcohol decreases consumption: study

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.

Time series and longitudinal models of aggregate alcohol consumption with price and
other economic data as independent variables.
Setting: British Columbia (BC), Canada.
Measurements: Data on alcohol prices and sales for different beverages were provided by the
BC Liquor Distribution Branch for 1989 to 2010. Data on household income were sourced from
Statistics Canada.

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).

Increases in minimum prices of alcoholic beverages can substantially reduce
alcohol consumption.

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