Price-based policies are effective alcohol harm minimisation policy options. This paper examines public support for price-based policies based on patterns of consumption and expenditure, to determine if the extent to which an individual may be affected by a policy influences their support.
The current study included 1,684 Australian residents (59.8% male, Mage 43.8 [SD=16.7]). Respondents who purchased and consumed alcohol in the past six months were asked about their support for potential changes in a series of price-based policies.
Increasing price was less likely to be supported than either implementing a minimum price or a tax-increase earmarked to pay for alcohol harms. Increasing price and taxing drinkers were more likely to be supported by older people and women. We found no relationship between income or perceived impact of price increases on purchasing and level of support.
Contrary to the idea that public support might be partly influenced by ability to pay for alcohol, support for a minimum unit price was not related to price paid per drink or income, only amount consumed. Thus, heavier drinkers may be inherently unlikely to support price-based policies even when these policies would have little impact on their actual purchasing.