Examining beverage-specific trends in youth drinking in Australia before and after the implementation of the alcopops tax Academic Article uri icon


  • INTRODUCTION AND AIMS:Alcohol consumption among young Australians has declined markedly since the early 2000s. As yet, there has been no data on how this decline has been spread across different beverages and instead high-level survey data with significant potential for recall and other bias has been used. Trends in beverage choice among young people following an increase in the 'alcopops' tax have also not received much attention. DESIGN AND METHODS:Data on 'yesterday' drinking occasions were obtained from five waves (2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016) of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey. A total of 23 536 respondents aged 14-29 years were included in this study. Descriptive and regression analyses were conducted to explore trends in alcohol consumption and changes in beverage preferences. RESULTS:Youth drinking declined by 45% across the study period, with declines of 66% in premix, 48% in spirits, 46% in beer and 33% in wine. Consumption of premix was significantly lower in 2013 and 2016 compared to 2007 amongst the overall sample, males, females, respondents aged 14-21 and 22-29 years, light and heavy drinkers. Significant reductions were also observed in the consumption of premix immediately following the tax (2010) for the younger age group, males and light drinkers. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:Youth consumption of alcohol has declined during the study period with significant variation across beverage types. We found some evidence of a separate impact for the alcopops tax, although for some groups, declines in premix consumption occurred well after the implementation of the tax.

publication date

  • 2020