The impact of relaxed traveller allowances: Fixed-effects analyses of the associations between consumer behaviour and alcohol use

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Abstract

Aim: To analyse to what extent the gradual relaxation of traveller allowances for alcoholic beverages 2001–2004 changed consumer behaviours and subsequent alcohol consumption patterns within a longitudinal panel data population study in Southern Sweden. Methods: General population random sample panel data study with repeated measurements were collected in 1999, in 2005, and in 2010 in the county of Scania. The study analyses answers from 9770 individuals, who in 1999 were 18–80 years old. A fixed-effects modelling was applied to assess the association between consumer behaviour and change in alcohol use across the study period. Results: Cross-border shopping for alcoholic beverages was associated, on average, with a 3.1% (p < 0.001) increase in alcohol use. Buying imported alcohol from a private person was associated with a mean increase of 2.6% (p < 0.001), with a total additive effect of 5.7%. Furthermore, when stratified for gender, age, and location, significant fixed effects were found. The magnitude was greater among women, younger and older ages, and in particular in the Northeast and Central regions. Both consumer behaviours – cross-border trading (OR 1.6, CI 95% 1.28–1.92) and buying alcohol from a private person (OR 1.4, CI 95% 1.12–1.73) – were significantly associated with heavy alcohol use. Conclusion: The fixed-effects analyses identified significant associations between consumer behaviours and alcohol consumption. The uptake of behaviours that developed because of a relaxation of the Swedish alcohol policy has contributed to an overall long-term increase in alcohol use and higher prevalence of heavy alcohol use within this general population study sample.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Keywords

  • Alcohol policy, Traveller allowances, Prospective cohort, Fixed effects, Consumer behaviours, Alcohol use
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
JournalNAD Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Volume35
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 19
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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