Public support for alcohol control initiatives across seven countries

International Journal of Drug Policy Volume 82, August 2020, 102807

Maria RoosDekker, AlexandraJones, Pallab K.Maulik, SimonePettigrew



Public support for greater alcohol controls is a key consideration in governments’ decisions to introduce new alcohol-related regulations, policies, and programs. The aim of this study was to asses public support for a range of recommended alcohol control initiatives across seven countries with varying sociocultural profiles.


Adults (n = 7545; aged 18-91 years) from Australia, Canada, China, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States completed an online survey assessing demographic characteristics, alcohol consumption patterns, and support for 14 alcohol control initiatives.


Across the total sample, means for each initiative ranged from 3.49 to 4.09 (on a 5-point agreement scale), indicating generally favourable responses. Stated support levels (i.e., selecting ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly agree’) for specific initiatives in individual countries ranged from 33% to 86%. Across countries, support was higher for initiatives related to product labelling (e.g., clearly visible standard drink quantity information and pregnancy warning labels) and lower for initiatives related to alcohol advertising restrictions (e.g., prohibiting alcohol advertising during televised sporting programs and on road-side billboards). Support levels varied by age, gender, income level, drinking status, and drinking frequency.


The high levels of support across countries for many of the assessed initiatives indicate that the public would be receptive to more stringent alcohol control policies, especially in relation to product labelling and the dissemination of public education campaigns. Further advocacy work appears to be required to foster higher levels of support for restricting alcohol companies’ marketing activities.

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the FASD Prevention Conversation Project, its stakeholders, or funders.


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