Social disadvantage and exposure to lower priced alcohol in off-premise outlets

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Introduction and Aims: Greater concentrations of off-premise alcohol outlets are found in areas of social disadvantage, exposing disadvantaged populations to excess risk for problems such as assault, child abuse and intimate partner violence. This study examines whether the outlets to which they are exposed also sell cheaper alcohol, potentially further contributing to income-related health disparities. Design and Methods: We conducted unobtrusive observations in 295 off-premise outlets in Melbourne, Australia, randomly selected using a spatial sample frame. In semi-logged linear regression models, we related the minimum purchase price for a 750mL bottle of wine to a national index of socioeconomic advantage for the census areas in which the outlets were located. Other independent variables characterised outlet features (e.g. volume, chain management) and conditions of the local alcohol market (adjacent outlet characteristics, neighbourhood characteristics). Results: A one decile increase in socioeconomic advantage was related to a 1.3 increase in logged price. Larger outlets, chains, outlets adjacent to chains, outlets in greater proximity to the nearest neighbouring outlet and those located in areas with more students also had cheaper alcohol. Discussion and Conclusions: Not only are disadvantaged populations exposed to more outlets, the outlets to which they are exposed sell cheaper alcohol. This finding appears to be consistent with the spatial dynamics of typical retail markets. [Morrison C, Ponicki W, Smith K. Social disadvantage and exposure to lower priced alcohol in off-premise outlets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375 - 378
Number of pages4
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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