Liquor landscapes: Does access to alcohol outlets influence alcohol consumption in young adults?

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Abstract

Few longitudinal studies have examined the impact of liquor licences on alcohol consumption, and none in young adults, the life stage when alcohol intake is at its highest. We examined associations between liquor licences (i.e., general licences, on-premise licences, liquor stores, and club licences) and alcohol consumption at 20-years (n=988) and 22-years (n=893), and whether changes in the licences between time-points influenced alcohol consumption (n=665). Only general licences were associated with alcohol consumption at 20-years (p=0.037), but by 22-years, all licences types were positively associated with alcohol consumption (p<0.05). Longitudinal analyses showed that for each increase in liquor stores over time, alcohol consumption increased by 1.22 g/day or 8% (p=0.030), and for each additional club licence, consumption increased by 0.90 g/day or 6% (p=0.007). Limiting liquor licences could contribute to a reduction in young adults’ alcohol intake.

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