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Potential Consequences of Replacing a Retail Alcohol Monopoly with a Private License System: Results from Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
Services Research Institute Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation Calverton, MD, USA.
Prevention Research Center Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation Berkeley, CA, USA.
Alcohol and Drug Research National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
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2010 (English)In: Addiction, ISSN 0965-2140, E-ISSN 1360-0443, Vol. 105, no 12, 2113-2119 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim  To examine the potential effects of replacing the Swedish alcohol retail system with a private licensing system on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.

Design  Two possible scenarios were analysed: (1) replacing the current alcohol retail monopoly with private licensed stores that specialize in alcohol sales or (2) making all alcohol available in grocery stores. We utilized a multiplicative model that projected effects of changes in a set of key factors including hours of sale, retail prices, promotion and advertising and outlet density. Next, we estimated the effect of the projected consumption increase on a set of harm indicators. Values for the model parameters were obtained from the research literature.

Measurements  Measures of alcohol-related harm included explicitly alcohol-related mortality, accident mortality, suicide, homicide, assaults, drinking driving and sickness absence.

Findings  According to the projections, scenario 1 yields a consumption increase of 17% (1.4 litres/capita), which in turn would cause an additional 770 deaths, 8500 assaults, 2700 drinking driving offences and 4.5 million sick days per year. The corresponding figures for scenario 2 are a consumption increase of 37.4% (3.1 litres/capita) leading to an additional annual toll of 2000 deaths, 20 000 assaults, 6600 drinking driving offences and 11.1 million days of sick leave.

Conclusions  Projections based on the research literature suggest that privatization of the Swedish alcohol retail market would significantly increase alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 105, no 12, 2113-2119 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-53580DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03091.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-53580DiVA: diva2:390997
Available from: 2011-01-24 Created: 2011-01-24 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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