The impact of policies regulating alcohol trading hours and days on specific alcohol-related harms: a systematic review

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Abstract

Background

Evidence supports the expectation that changes in time of alcohol sales associate with changes in alcohol-related harm in both directions. However, to the best of our knowledge, no comprehensive systematic reviews had examined the effect of policies restricting time of alcohol trading on specific alcohol-related harms.

Objective

To compile existing evidence related to the impact of policies regulating alcohol trading hours/days of on specific harm outcomes such as: assault/violence, motor vehicle crashes/fatalities, injury, visits to the emergency department/hospital, murder/homicides and crime.

Methods

Systematic review of literature studying the impact of policies regulation alcohol trading times in alcohol-related harm, published between January 2000 and October 2016 in English language.

Results

Results support the premise that policies regulating times of alcohol trading and consumption can contribute to reduce injuries, alcohol-related hospitalisations/emergency department visits, homicides and crime. Although the impact of alcohol trading policies in assault/violence and motor vehicle crashes/fatalities is also positive, these associations seem to be more complex and require further study.

Conclusion

Evidence suggests a potential direct effect of policies that regulate alcohol trading times in the prevention of injuries, alcohol-related hospitalisations, homicides and crime. The impact of these alcohol trading policies in assault/violence and motor vehicle crashes/fatalities is less compelling.

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