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.
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.