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The Link Between Alcohol Sales and Alcohol-Related Harm in Finland, 1995-2016
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5746-7723
2020 (English)In: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1937-1888, E-ISSN 1938-4114, Vol. 81, no 5, p. 641-646Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Objective:

A key assumption in Finnish alcohol policy is that the officially registered alcohol consumption (i.e., alcohol sales) is closely related to alcohol-related harm. During the last two decades, a sizable part of total alcohol consumption, however, comprises unrecorded consumption, which may potentially make alcohol sales less powerful as a predictor of alcohol-related harm. This article thus aims to estimate the relationship between alcohol sales and alcohol-related harm on the basis of more recent Finnish time-series data.

Method:

Data on alcohol sales (liters of 100% alcohol/capita age 15 years and older) were obtained from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland. As indicators of harm, we used police-reported assaults and three forms of mortality: alcohol-specific mortality, accidents, and suicide. Quarterly data on mortality and alcohol sales spanned the period 1995–2016, and data on police-reported offenses covered the period 1990–2016. Data were analyzed by SARIMA (Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average) modeling.

Results:

A positive and significant association between alcohol sales and all harm indicators was found. A 1-L increase in alcohol sales per capita was associated with a 20% increase in alcohol-specific mortality, a 12% increase in assaults, and a 5%–6% increase in accidents and suicide. These estimates are in line with earlier findings estimated on data for the period when unrecorded alcohol consumption was less common in Finland.

Conclusions:

The results provide support for a continued strong relationship between alcohol sales and alcohol-related harm in Finland. Policy measures aimed at lowering alcohol sales were supported from these results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 81, no 5, p. 641-646
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-185950DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2020.81.641ISI: 000600600000015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-185950DiVA, id: diva2:1477606
Available from: 2020-10-19 Created: 2020-10-19 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Norström, ThorRamstedt, Mats

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