“Availability is the poor cousin of marketing and pricing”: Qualitative study of stakeholders’ views on policy priorities around tobacco and alcohol availability

Elena D. Dimova, Niamh Shortt, Richard J. Mitchell, Peter Lekkas, Jamie Pearce, Tom Clemens, Carol Emslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background
Reducing alcohol and tobacco availability is one potential way to reduce harm from these unhealthy commodities. This study explores key stakeholders’ views in relation to policy priorities and considerations for both alcohol and tobacco availability.

Methods
We conducted semi-structured interviews with 14 stakeholders from alcohol and/or tobacco third sector organizations, government, public health and licensing in Scotland. Interviews explored their views on alcohol/tobacco availability, including its place in the policy landscape and experiences in gaining support for policies. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results
Stakeholders believed that alcohol and tobacco availability have not received as much policy attention as pricing and marketing. Stakeholders highlighted the importance of public support and having sufficient evidence to inform policy. Key considerations for future policies include: drawing on lessons from tobacco control policies to address alcohol availability, considering different aspects of availability (especially online availability), ensuring policies reflect their local context, considering the impact of policies on children, and managing retailers’ involvement in the policy process.

Conclusion
This study highlights key considerations for policies to address alcohol and tobacco availability. There is a need for more research to consider retailers’ views and provide greater detail on specific policy suggestions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy
Early online date25 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Nov 2023

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