Support for alcohol policies from drinkers in the City of Tshwane, South Africa: Data from the International Alcohol Control study.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS

South Africa is considering a range of alcohol policy reforms. This study aims to determine the magnitude of public support for 13 alcohol policies in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and whether this varies by demographic factors and heavy drinking status.

DESIGN AND METHODS

Data are from the South African arm of the International Alcohol Control study, a household survey of adult drinkers using a multistage stratified cluster random sampling design. The sample included 1920 drinkers aged 18-65 years (62% men), with complete drinking data for 16 drinking locations on 955 persons (510 heavy and 445 not heavy drinkers).

RESULTS

Over half (53%) of the sample were found to be heavy drinkers. Support varied by alcohol policy, ranging from 31% to 77%, with support above 50% for 11 of the 13 policies. Policy support was higher for policies increasing the purchase age to 21 years (77%), addressing drink driving (58-76%) and restricting physical availability (60-66%). There was slightly less support for policies restricting alcohol marketing (59%) or for policies increasing the price of alcohol (34-58%), especially if no justification was given or the funds were not earmarked. Policy support differed by age, gender, heavy drinking status and income.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS

Public support from adult drinkers for a range of alcohol policies is extensive and, as found elsewhere, was strongest for raising the minimum drinking age and lowest for increasing prices. The support from drinkers to increasing controls on alcohol could be one lever to getting control measures implemented. [Parry CDH, Trangenstein P, Lombard C, Jernigan DH, Morojele NK. Support for alcohol policies from drinkers in the City of Tshwane, South Africa: Data from the International Alcohol Control study. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;00:000-000].

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