Advertisement

Efficacy and the Strength of Evidence of U.S. Alcohol Control Policies

      Background

      Public policy can limit alcohol consumption and its associated harm, but no direct comparison of the relative efficacy of alcohol control policies exists for the U.S.

      Purpose

      To identify alcohol control policies and develop quantitative ratings of their efficacy and strength of evidence.

      Methods

      In 2010, a Delphi panel of ten U.S. alcohol policy experts identified and rated the efficacy of alcohol control policies for reducing binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving among both the general population and youth, and the strength of evidence informing the efficacy of each policy. The policies were nominated on the basis of scientific evidence and potential for public health impact. Analysis was conducted in 2010–2012.

      Results

      Panelists identified and rated 47 policies. Policies limiting price received the highest ratings, with alcohol taxes receiving the highest ratings for all four outcomes. Highly rated policies for reducing binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving in the general population also were rated highly among youth, although several policies were rated more highly for youth compared with the general population. Policy efficacy ratings for the general population and youth were positively correlated for reducing both binge drinking (r=0.50) and alcohol-impaired driving (r=0.45). The correlation between efficacy ratings for reducing binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving was strong for the general population (r=0.88) and for youth (r=0.85). Efficacy ratings were positively correlated with strength-of-evidence ratings.

      Conclusions

      Comparative policy ratings can help characterize the alcohol policy environment, inform policy discussions, and identify future research needs.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Babor T.
        • Caetano R.
        • Casswell S.
        • et al.
        Alcohol: no ordinary commodity: research and public policy.
        2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford2010
        • Mokdad A.H.
        • Marks J.S.
        • Stroup D.F.
        • Gerberding J.L.
        Actual causes of death in the U.S., 2000.
        JAMA. 2004; 291: 1238-1245
        • Rehm J.
        • Mathers C.
        • Popova S.
        • Thavorncharoensap M.
        • Teerawattananon Y.
        • Patra J.
        Global burden of disease and injury and economic cost attributable to alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders.
        Lancet. 2009; 373: 2223-2233
        • WHO
        WHO global status report on alcohol and health, 2011.
        WHO, Geneva, Switzerland2011
        • Bouchery E.E.
        • Harwood H.J.
        • Sacks J.J.
        • Simon C.J.
        • Brewer R.D.
        Economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in the U.S., 2006.
        Am J Prev Med. 2011; 41: 516-524
        • Klingemann H.K.
        • Holder H.D.
        • Gutzwiller F.
        Research on and prevention of alcohol-related trauma: phases, patterns, and issues.
        Addiction. 1993; 88: 861-866
        • Bergen G.
        • Shults R.A.
        • Beck L.F.
        • Qayad M.
        Self-reported alcohol-impaired driving in the U.S., 2006 and 2008.
        Am J Prev Med. 2012; 42: 12-19
        • Babor T.F.
        Linking science to policy. The role of international collaborative research.
        Alcohol Res Health. 2002; 26: 66-74
        • Community Preventive Services Task Force
        Motor vehicle-related injury prevention: reducing alcohol impaired-driving.
        CDC, Atlanta GA2012
        • Community Preventive Services Task Force
        Preventing excessive alcohol consumption.
        CDC, Atlanta GA2012
        • Brand D.A.
        • Saisana M.
        • Rynn L.A.
        • Pennoni F.
        • Lowenfels A.B.
        Comparative analysis of alcohol control policies in 30 countries.
        PLoS Med. 2007; 4: e151
        • Paschall M.J.
        • Grube J.W.
        • Kypri K.
        Alcohol control policies and alcohol consumption by youth: a multi-national study.
        Addiction. 2009; 104: 1849-1855
        • Fell J.C.
        • Fisher D.A.
        • Voas R.B.
        • Blackman K.
        • Tippetts A.S.
        The relationship of underage drinking laws to reductions in drinking drivers in fatal crashes in the U.S..
        Accid Anal Prev. 2008; 40: 1430-1440
        • Fell J.C.
        • Fisher D.A.
        • Voas R.B.
        • Blackman K.
        • Tippetts A.S.
        The impact of underage drinking laws on alcohol-related fatal crashes of young drivers.
        Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009; 33: 1208-1219
        • Dalkey N.C.
        • Helmer O.
        An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts.
        Manage Sci. 1963; 9: 458-467
        • de Meyrick J.
        The Delphi method and health research.
        Health Educ. 2003; 103: 7-16
        • Nelson D.E.
        • Naimi T.S.
        • Brewer R.D.
        • Nelson H.A.
        State alcohol-use estimates among youth and adults, 1993-2005.
        Am J Prev Med. 2009; 36: 218-224
      1. Xuan Z, Nelson TF, Churchill V, et al. Relationships between adult binge drinking and alcohol-related behaviors among youth: implications for public health. American Public Health Association annual meeting, Washington DC, 2011

        • Wagenaar A.C.
        • Toomey T.L.
        • Murray D.M.
        • Short B.J.
        • Wolfson M.
        • Jones-Webb R.
        Sources of alcohol for underage drinkers.
        J Stud Alcohol. 1996; 57: 325-333
        • Cremeens J.L.
        • Miller J.W.
        • Nelson D.E.
        • Brewer R.D.
        Assessment of source and type of alcohol consumed by high school students: analyses from four states.
        J Addict Med. 2009; 3: 204-210
        • Holder H.D.
        Supply side approaches to reducing underage drinking: an assessment of the scientific evidence.
        in: Bonnie R.J. O'Connell M.E. Reducing underage drinking: a collective responsbility. National Academies Press, Washington DC2004
        • Chaloupka F.J.
        The effects of price on alcohol use, abuse and their consequences.
        in: Bonnie R.J. O'Connell M.E. Reducing underage drinking: a collective responsibility. National Academies Press, Washington DC2004: 541-564
        • Wagenaar A.C.
        • Tobler A.L.
        • Komro K.A.
        Effects of alcohol tax and price policies on morbidity and mortality: a systematic review.
        Am J Public Health. 2010; 100: 2270-2278
        • Bergen G.
        • Shults R.A.
        • Rudd R.A.
        Vital signs: alcohol-impaired driving among adults—U.S., 2010.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011; 60: 1351-1356
        • Nelson T.F.
        • Weitzman E.R.
        • Wechsler H.
        The effect of a campus-community environmental alcohol prevention initiative on student drinking and driving: results from the "a matter of degree" program evaluation.
        Traffic Inj Prev. 2005; 6: 323-330
      2. The Century Council. B4UDrink. Arlington VA, 2011. www.b4udrink.org.

      3. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. NIAAA Council Approves Definition of Binge Drinking. NIAAA Newsletter, NIH Publication No. 04-5346, Bethesda, MD: DHHS, Winter 2004; 3:3

        • Wechsler H.
        • Nelson T.F.
        Binge drinking and the American college student: what's five drinks?.
        Psychol Addict Behav. 2001; 15: 287-291
        • Kanny D.
        • Liu Y.
        • Brewer R.D.
        Vital signs: binge drinking prevalence, frequency, and intensity among adults —U.S., 2010.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012; 61: 14-19
        • Flowers N.T.
        • Naimi T.S.
        • Brewer R.D.
        • Elder R.W.
        • Shults R.A.
        • Jiles R.
        Patterns of alcohol consumption and alcohol-impaired driving in the U.S..
        Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008; 32: 639-644
        • Naimi T.S.
        • Nelson D.E.
        • Brewer R.D.
        Driving after binge drinking.
        Am J Prev Med. 2009; 37: 314-320
        • Landeta J.
        Current validity of the Delphi method in social sciences.
        Technol Forecasting Soc Change. 2006; 73: 467-482
        • Ritter A.
        Comparing alcohol policies between countries: science or silliness?.
        PLoS Med. 2007; 4: e153
        • Wagenaar A.C.
        • Salois M.J.
        • Komro K.A.
        Effects of beverage alcohol price and tax levels on drinking: a meta-analysis of 1003 estimates from 112 studies.
        Addiction. 2009; 104: 179-190
      4. Wagenaar AC, Toomey TL. Effects of minimum drinking age laws: review and analyses of the literature from 1960 to 2000. J Stud Alcohol Suppl 2002;(14):206–25.

        • Room R.
        • Babor T.
        • Rehm J.
        Alcohol and public health.
        Lancet. 2005; 365: 519-530