Background: Low alcohol prices are a potent risk factor for excessive drinking, underage drinking, and adverse alcohol-attributable outcomes. Presently, there is little reported information on alcohol prices in the U.S., in particular as it relates to the costs of potentially beneficial amounts of alcohol. Purpose: To determine the minimum financial outlay necessary to purchase individual brands of alcohol using online alcohol price data from January through March 2012. Methods: The smallest container size and the minimum price at which that size beverage could be purchased in the U.S. in 2012 were determined for 898 brands of alcohol, across 17 different alcoholic beverage types. The analyses were conducted in March 2012. Results: The majority of alcoholic beverage categories contain brands that can be purchased in the U.S. for very low minimum financial outlays. Conclusions: In the U.S., a wide variety of alcohol brands, across many types of alcohol, are available at very low prices. Given that both alcohol use and abuse are responsive to price, particularly among adolescents, the prevalence of low alcohol prices is concerning. Surveillance of alcohol prices and minimum pricing policies should be considered in the U.S. as part of a public health strategy to reduce excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health