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Centre for Behavioural
Research in Cancer

Influence of alcohol outlet density, price and promotion on trends in adolescents' drinking behaviours

This study examined the role of alcohol policies and alcohol advertising on trends in Australian adolescents’ alcohol use. Alcohol use data came from triennial national cross-sectional surveys of secondary students conducted over the period 1999 to 2011.  Televised advertising rating points data were used to estimate exposure to alcohol product advertising. Relevant policy information was collated from state records and newspaper articles about alcohol were collated and coded to provide a measure of social norms for alcohol use, with descriptive findings published in several papers. 

Several analytic papers were also published. Of note, one study found that higher densities of general, on- and off-premises outlets in an adolescent's immediate neighbourhood were related to increased likelihood of alcohol consumption among all adolescents. The density of licensed clubs was associated more strongly with drinking for urban than for regional adolescents.  Another study found that while Australian adolescents' exposure to paid alcohol advertising on television reduced between 1999 and 2011, higher levels of past-month television alcohol advertising were associated with an increased likelihood of adolescents' drinking. The study suggests that the reduction in television alcohol advertising in Australia in the late 2000s may have played a part in reducing adolescents' drinking prevalence. A final study examined associations between the strength of alcohol polices (to limit youth access, reduce trading hours and reduce drink-driving) and adolescent drinking after adjusting for television alcohol advertising exposure, alcohol outlet density, alcohol price changes, exposure to negative news articles about alcohol and adult drinking prevalence. Past-month drinking was less likely with stronger trading hours policies, but not youth access or drink-driving policies. Risky drinking was less likely with stronger youth access policies, but not trading hours or drink-driving policies. The study suggests that population-directed policies designed to reduce alcohol availability and promotion may reduce adolescents' alcohol use. 

CBRC staff

Prof Vicki White, Dr Denise Azar, Agatha Faulkner, Prof Sarah Durkin, Prof Melanie Wakefield


Prof Tanya Chikritzhs (National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University), Dr Michael Livingstone and Prof Robin Room (Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Latrobe University), Dr Kerry Coomber (Deakin University)


NHMRC Partnership Grant (1032179) with Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and VicHealth


2012 - 2018