Raising of minimum alcohol prices in Saskatchewan, Canada reduces consumption

A Canadian study on minimum-alcohol pricing published online in the American Journal of Public Health  found that a 10% increase in minimum prices significantly reduced consumption for all such beverages combined by 8.43%. There were larger effects for purely off-premise sales (e.g., liquor stores) than for primarily on-premise sales (e.g., bars, restaurants). Consumption of higher strength beer and wine declined the most.  A 10% increase in minimum price was associated with a 22.0% decrease in consumption of higher strength beer versus 8.17% for lower strength beers. The neighboring province of Alberta showed no change in per capita alcohol consumption before and after the intervention. The authors concluded that minimum pricing is a promising strategy for reducing the public health burden associated with hazardous alcohol consumption. Pricing to reflect percentage alcohol content of drinks can shift consumption toward lower alcohol content beverage types.