Evaluating the impact of minimum unit pricing (MUP) on off-trade alcohol sales in Scotland: a controlled interrupted time series study

Robinson, M., Mackay, D. , Giles, L., Lewsey, J. , Richardson, E. and Beeston, C. (2021) Evaluating the impact of minimum unit pricing (MUP) on off-trade alcohol sales in Scotland: a controlled interrupted time series study. Addiction, 116(10), pp. 2697-2707. (doi: 10.1111/add.15478) (PMID:33723866)

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Abstract

Background and Aims: On 1 May 2018, Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP), a strength‐based floor price below which alcohol cannot be sold, across all alcoholic beverages. The legislation contains a sunset clause meaning a comprehensive mixed methods evaluation of its impact across a range of outcomes will inform whether it will continue beyond its sixth year. In this study, we assessed the impact of MUP on off‐trade alcohol sales (as a proxy for consumption) after its first year. Design, Setting and Participants: Controlled interrupted time–series regression was used to assess the impact of MUP on alcohol sales among off‐trade retailers in Scotland in the year after it was introduced, with England and Wales (EW) being the control group. In adjusted analyses, we included household disposable income, on‐trade alcohol sales and substitution between beverage categories as covariates. Measurements: Weekly data on the volume of pure alcohol sold by off‐trade retailers in Scotland and EW between January 2013 and May 2019, expressed as litres of pure alcohol per adult. Findings: The introduction of MUP in Scotland was associated with a 3.5% (95% confidence interval: 2.2% to 4.9%) reduction in off‐trade alcohol sales per adult after adjustment for the best available geographical control, disposable income and substitution. In unadjusted analysis, the introduction of MUP was associated with a 2.0% (95% confidence interval: 0.4% to 3.6%) reduction in off‐trade alcohol sales per adult in Scotland. In EW, there was a 2.4% (0.8% to 4.0%) increase over the same time period. The reduction in off‐trade alcohol sales in Scotland was driven by reduced sales of spirits, cider and perry beverage categories. Conclusion: The implementation of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Scotland in 2018 appears to have been associated with a reduction in off‐trade alcohol sales after its first year.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Richardson, Dr Elizabeth and Lewsey, Professor Jim and Mackay, Professor Daniel and Robinson, Mr Mark
Authors: Robinson, M., Mackay, D., Giles, L., Lewsey, J., Richardson, E., and Beeston, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Addiction
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0965-2140
ISSN (Online):1360-0443
Published Online:15 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Addiction 116(10): 2697-2707
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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