Aims: This paper examines changes in alcohol consumption in Denmark between 2003 and 2006 after the excise tax on spirits in Denmark was lowered by 45% on October 1, 2003 and travelers' allowances for the import of alcohol were increased on January 1, 2004. Methods: Cross-sectional and panel data from Denmark from 2003 to 2006 were analyzed. Samples were collected by telephone interviews using random digit dialing. Results: Panel data for Denmark revealed that alcohol consumption remained relatively stable. Similar results were found in the Danish cross-sectional data. It appears that 'substitution' rather than increased importation occurred. Conclusion: We found no evidence to support earlier research stating that decreased prices and increased availability is related to higher alcohol consumption. This could be partly because (1) Denmark has reached a 'saturation' level of consumption over the past 30 years and (2) the survey mode of data collection did not capture specific subpopulations who might have increased their consumption. It may be necessary to examine other indicators of alcohol use or alcohol-related harm in order to fully assess the consequences of such changes in alcohol availability.
Objectives: This paper examines changes in alcohol-related harm in Denmark between 2003 and 2005 after changes in alcohol policies were introduced between 2003 and 2005. Methods: Interrupted time series analysis was performed with data on violent assaults and hospitalisations for acute alcohol intoxication from 2003 through 2005. Results: A 26% increase in the number of acute alcohol intoxication hospitalisations among people aged 15 years and younger was detected after the tax reduction on spirits. No significant increase in violent assaults and acute intoxication among adults was found. Conclusions: Even modest alcohol price policies can affect more vulnerable population sub-groups such as under-age youth. Policy makers should consider such consequences when forming economic policies that also have public health implications.
Aims The aim of this paper is to study short-term changes in alcohol consumption by subgroups of the population in Denmark, Finland and southern Sweden following large-scale decreases in alcohol taxation in Denmark and Finland and large increases in travellers' allowances in Finland and Sweden. Design General population random samples surveyed before and after the changes, using northern Sweden as a control site. Setting Denmark, Finland, southern Sweden and northern Sweden. Participants Respondents aged 16-69 years. Measurements Volume of drinking is the main measure reported. Changes are examined by gender, age, income and year 2003 consumption level. Results Consumption decreased or remained the same among women and men in all three study sites. Relative changes were similar across subgroups of age, gender and income in all countries. In absolute terms, there was a consistent differential change by age in Denmark, Finland and Southern Sweden, with the higher level of the young and lower level of the old converging. Women's and men's consumption converged in Finland and southern Sweden. The changes did not differ systematically by income. Changes were not larger among heavier drinkers. Conclusions The results did not confirm expectations: an increase in consumption larger than that in the control site could not be shown in any of the countries or subgroups of the population. If there has been an effect - as shown in aggregate data in Finland - it seems to have been stronger among the old than the young and, in Finland and southern Sweden, among women rather than men.