219205 Expenditures per drink, amounts consumed, context of drinking and alcohol-relater\d problems in the 2005 National Alcohol Survey: The policy implications

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Yu Ye, MS , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
William C. Kerr, PhD , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Jason Bond, PhD , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Earlier we found mean expenditures per drink of the top 10% of drinkers is lower ($0.79/drink) than the bottom 50% by volume ($4.75/drink). The 2005 NAS (n = 6,919), a telephone survey of US adults, asked 30-day expenditures for wine, beer and spirits and associated consumption. We investigated factors affecting alcohol expenditures and conversely, the role of expenditures and other factors in predicting alcohol-related problems. Using linear regression among current drinkers (n=3,951) we modeled expenditure per drink with demographics including gender, age, ethnicity, employment status, income, and amount consumed in on- vs. off-premise venues, plus number of social and health consequences. Alternative specifications considered the effect on number of alcohol problems of volume and mean expenditure per drink, accounting for the same influences. Considering results with alcohol measures that adjusted for a person's mean drink size and strength, those reporting more problems were as expected more likely to be male, younger, have lower incomes and ages, be Hispanic and not only drink higher volumes, the strongest influence, but also spent more per gram ethanol (or per self-reported drink in separate models; both ps < .01), controlling for on-premise drinking (p = .07). While descriptively, heavier drinkers tend to pay much less per drink than lighter drinkers, once many personal characteristics are controlled, those reporting higher expenditures (willing to spend more per drink) express more alcohol related problems. Few general population studies have included alcohol expenditures. We consider data limitations and the implications for price and tax policy.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the role of expenditure per drink in considering price and tax policies. Assess the impact on expenditures per drink of variables such as gender, age, income, preferred drinking venues and volume of consumption. Analyze the likely role of willingness to pay for alcohol on alcohol problems controlling for other factors.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Alcohol Problems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct the National Alcohol Research Center and its National Alcohol Surveys. I have 30 years of experience with alcohol research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.