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1.  Changes in Alcohol Availability, Price and Alcohol-related Problems and the Collectivity of Drinking Cultures: What Happened in Southern and Northern Sweden?† 
Aims: The aims of this study were to study whether alcohol-related self-reported problems follow the same pattern of changes in alcohol consumption in southern Sweden, assumed to be affected by a decrease in Danish spirits tax and by an increase in Swedish travellers’ import quotas, and to study whether the results obtained for southern and northern Sweden follow the predictions of Skog's theory of collectivity of drinking cultures. Methods: Analysis was carried out on a sample from the  Swedish general population from southern and northern Sweden separately. Two indices such as impaired self-control/dependent behaviour and extrinsic problems for alcohol-related problems were computed and analysed in terms of sex, age, income and alcohol consumption level. Results: Although there were no huge changes in the number of persons reporting alcohol-related problems, the general trend in data for various subpopulations was a decrease in the southern site and an increase in the northern site. In the northern site, the increase in alcohol consumption among men also showed an increase in alcohol-related problems. However, various population subgroups changed in different directions and did not move in concert over the population distribution. Conclusions: Analysis confirmed that alcohol-related problems, according to the two indices used, followed a similar pattern to alcohol consumption, but less divergent. A version of Skog's theory applied on alcohol-related problems could not confirm that alcohol-related problems did not change collectively within the population.
doi:10.1093/alcalc/agq046
PMCID: PMC2930254  PMID: 20739440
2.  Alcohol Consumption in Southern Sweden after Major Decreases in Danish Spirits Taxes and Increases in Swedish Travellers’ Quotas 
European Addiction Research  2010;16(3):152-161.
Background
In 2003, Denmark lowered its tax on spirits, and in 2004, Sweden increased its traveller import quotas. Aim: The aim of the study was to determine whether these two changes increased self-reported alcohol consumption in southern Sweden, which is located near Denmark.
Method
Data were collected through telephone interviews with the general population between 2003 and 2006. Individuals aged 16–80 years were interviewed. Some lived in southern Sweden, others in the northern region, which was assumed to be unaffected by the policy changes and was thus used as a control site. Analyses were performed for the total population as well as by sex, age, socio-economic group and consumption pattern.
Results
The expected results were not found: alcohol consumption in southern Sweden had not changed. The few statistically significant changes found in southern Sweden indicated decreases. In the north, however, consumption seemed to have increased.
Conclusion
In addition to the two policy changes mentioned above, other changes seem to have affected alcohol consumption in Sweden. It is possible, however, that the policy changes have affected population groups not reached by the survey, and thus other types of data need to be analysed before drawing any far-reaching conclusions.
doi:10.1159/000314358
PMCID: PMC2895742  PMID: 20453510
Alcohol consumption; Tax decrease; Increased private import quotas
3.  Changes in alcohol-related harm in Sweden after increasing alcohol import quotas and a Danish tax decrease—an interrupted time-series analysis for 2000–2007 
Background Denmark decreased its tax on spirits by 45% on 1 October 2003. Shortly thereafter, on 1 January 2004, Sweden increased its import quotas of privately imported alcohol, allowing travellers to bring in much larger amounts of alcohol from other European Union countries. Although these changes were assumed to increase alcohol-related harm in Sweden, particularly among people living close to Denmark, analyses based on survey data collected before and after these changes have not supported this assumption. The present article tests whether alcohol-related harm in southern Sweden was affected by these changes by analysing other indicators of alcohol-related harm, e.g. harm recorded in different kinds of registers.
Methods Interrupted time-series analysis was performed with monthly data on cases of hospitalization due to acute alcohol poisoning, number of reported violent assaults and drunk driving for the years 2000–07 in southern Sweden using the northern parts of Sweden as a control and additionally controlling for two earlier major changes in quotas.
Results The findings were not consistent with respect to whether alcohol-related harm increased in southern Sweden after the decrease in Danish spirits tax and the increase in Swedish alcohol import quotas. On the one hand, an increase in acute alcohol poisonings was found, particularly in the 50–69 years age group, on the other hand, no increase was found in violent assaults and drunk driving.
Conclusions The present results raise important questions about the association between changes in availability and alcohol-related harms. More research using other methodological approaches and data is needed to obtain a comprehensive picture of what actually happened in southern Sweden.
doi:10.1093/ije/dyq153
PMCID: PMC3066424  PMID: 20841327
Alcohol-related harm; alcohol poisoning; violent assaults; drunk driving; tax change; private import quotas of alcohol
4.  Changes in alcohol consumption in Denmark after the tax reduction on spirits 
European addiction research  2009;15(4):216-223.
AIMS
This paper examines changes in alcohol consumption in Denmark between 2003 and 2006 after the excise tax on spirits in Denmark was lowered by 45% on 1. October 2003 and travelers’ allowances for alcohol import were increased on 1. January 2004.
METHODS
Cross-sectional and panel data from Denmark from 2003 to 2006 were analyzed. Samples were collected by telephone interviews using random digit dialing.
RESULTS
Panel data for Denmark revealed that alcohol consumption remained relatively stable. Similar results were found in the Danish cross-sectional data. It appears that substitution rather than increased importation occurred.
CONCLUSION
We found no evidence to support earlier research stating that decreased prices and increased availability is related to higher alcohol consumption. This could be partly because Denmark has reached a “saturation” level of consumption over the past 30 years, but also because the survey mode of data collection did not capture specific sub-populations who might have increased their consumption. Other indicators of alcohol use or alcohol-related harm may be necessary to examine in order to fully assess the consequences of such changes in alcohol availability.
doi:10.1159/000239415
PMCID: PMC2931810  PMID: 19776586
alcohol consumption; Denmark; tax reduction

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