A study examining data from 299,381 adults in England and Wales has concluded that a 1-percent increase in alcohol beverage prices would result in 6,000 fewer emergency department (ED) visits for violence- related injuries. Nicholas Page, et al., “Preventing violence-related injuries in England and Wales: a panel study examining the impact of on-trade and off-trade alcohol prices,” Injury Prevention, July 2016. After controlling for the effects of poverty, income inequality, youth spending capacity, and seasonality, researchers with Cardiff University’s Violence Research School report that an increase in alcohol beverage prices is negatively associated with violence-related injuries whether the beverages are sold on-trade (“venues where alcohol is sold and consumed”) or off-trade (“venues where alcohol is sold for household consumption”).
“There are important implications from these findings for public health and policy. In the long term, evidence from this study suggests that government policies that seek to reduce poverty and financial inequality in England and Wales could lead to substantial reductions in violence nationally, although such policies would have to be viewed as permanent to yield reductions in violence,” state the study authors. “However, one policy option that could have an immediate impact on violence would be to increase the real price of alcohol… Importantly, findings suggest that any pricing policy that intends to reduce alcohol-related violence must aim to increase the price of alcohol in both markets, especially the on-trade.”