Public opinion on alcohol policies in the united states: Results from a national survey

Alexander C. Wagenaar, Eileen M. Harwood, Traci L. Toomey, Charles E. Denk, Kay M. Zander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


We surveyed the U.S. non-institutionalized population age 18+ on opinions regarding 23 alcohol control policies (N = 7,021). The cooperation rate among contacted households was 70% and the overall response rate was 54%. Results showed high levels of public support for most alcohol control policies. Over 80% support restrictions on alcohol use in public places, such as parks, beaches, concert venues, and on college campuses. Eighty-two percent support increased alcohol taxes, provided the funds are used for treatment or prevention programs. Over 60% support alcohol advertising and promotion restrictions, such as banning billboard advertising, banning promotion at sporting events, or banning liquor and beer advertising on television.Multivariate regression analyses indicated significant relationships between alcohol policy opinions and a variety of sociodemographic, political orientation, and behavioral measures. However, the absolute differences in alcohol policy support across groups is small.There is a strong base of support for alcohol control policies in the U.S., and such support is found among whites and ethnics of color, young and old, rich and poor, and conservatives, moderates, and liberals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-327
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2000

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