Measurable effects of local alcohol licensing policies on population health in England

de Vocht, Frank, Heron, Jon, Angus, Colin, Brennan, Alan, Mooney, John, Lock, Karen, Campbell, Rona and Hickman, Mathew (2016) Measurable effects of local alcohol licensing policies on population health in England. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 70. pp. 231-237. ISSN 0143-005X

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Background: English alcohol policy is implemented at
local government level, leading to variations in how it is put into practice. We evaluated whether differences in
the presence or absence of cumulative impact zones and
the ‘intensity’ of licensing enforcement—both aimed at
regulating the availability of alcohol and modifying the
drinking environment—were associated with harm as
measured by alcohol-related hospital admissions.
Methods: Premises licensing data were obtained at
lower tier local authority (LTLA) level from the Home
Office Alcohol and Late Night Refreshment Licensing
data for 2007–2012, and LTLAs were coded as
‘passive’, low, medium or highly active based on
whether they made use of cumulative impact areas and/
or whether any licences for new premises were declined.
These data were linked to 2009–2015 alcohol-related
hospital admission and alcohol-related crime rates
obtained from the Local Alcohol Profiles for England.
Population size and deprivation data were obtained from
the Office of National Statistics. Changes in directly age standardised rates of people admitted to hospital with alcohol-related conditions were analysed using
hierarchical growth modelling.
Results: Stronger reductions in alcohol-related admission
rates were observed in areas with more intense alcohol
licensing policies, indicating an ‘exposure–response’
association, in the 2007–2015 period. Local areas with
the most intensive licensing policies had an additional
5% reduction (p=0.006) in 2015 compared with what
would have been expected had these local areas had no
active licensing policy in place.
Conclusions Local licensing policies appear to be
associated with a reduction in alcohol-related hospital
admissions in areas with more intense licensing policies.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Sciences > Health Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Depositing User: John Mooney
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2017 16:10
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 11:45

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