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Journal Article


Kerr WC, Ye Y, Greenfield TK. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019; 198: 7-12.


Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, 6001 Shellmound St, Suite 450, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






BACKGROUND: Few studies have evaluated alcoholic beverage purchasing behaviors, which are relevant to the design and effectiveness of alcoholic beverage control policies. Focusing on spirits purchasing among spirits drinkers, this study compares purchasing behaviors between risky and non-risky drinkers and across drinking patterns among those observed drinking at both levels.

METHODS: A rolling panel of 794 spirits drinkers in the state of Washington were surveyed between two and five times at 6-month intervals during 2014, 2015 and 2016 regarding their alcohol use, spirits purchasing and marijuana use frequency. Purchasing behaviors assessed for spirits were the frequency of purchasing and the travel time, unit cost, bottle size and store type from the respondents most recent purchase. Alcohol use was categorized at each measurement as risky or not using US NIAAA guidelines.

RESULTS: Risky drinkers were more likely to purchase spirits, purchase spirits more frequently, purchase larger spirits containers and use marijuana occasionally, but not frequently. Among drinkers who were risky only in some survey waves, during risky waves they were more likely to purchase more frequently, pay less per liter for spirits purchased, buy larger sized containers of spirits and use marijuana occasionally.

CONCLUSIONS: Drinkers chose to purchase lower cost spirits in larger containers when they were drinking more heavily compared to times when they were drinking within US low-risk guidelines.

FINDINGS also support complementarity between heavier drinking and marijuana use among spirits drinkers in a state with legal recreational marijuana sales.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Cannabis; Purchasing; Spirits


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