Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Alcohol purchasing by ill heavy drinkers; cheap alcohol is no single commodity.

Gill, J.; Chick, J.; Black, H.; Rees, C.; O'May, F.; Rush, R.; McPake, B.A.


J. Gill

J. Chick

H. Black

C. Rees

F. O'May

R. Rush

B.A. McPake



Potential strategies to address alcohol misuse remain contentious. We aim to characterise the drink purchases of one population group: heavy drinkers in contact with Scottish health services. We contrast our findings with national sales data and explore the impact of socio-economic status on purchasing behaviour.

Study design

Cross-sectional study comparing alcohol purchasing and consumption by heavy drinkers in Edinburgh and Glasgow during 2012.


639 patients with serious health problems linked to alcohol (recruited within NHS hospital clinics (in- and out-patient settings) 345 in Glasgow, 294 in Edinburgh) responded to a questionnaire documenting demographic data and last week's or a ‘typical’ weekly consumption (type, brand, volume, price, place of purchase). Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation quintile was derived as proxy of sociodemographic status.


Median consumption was 184.8 (IQR = 162.2) UK units/week paying a mean of 39.7 pence per alcohol unit (£0.397). Off-sales accounted for 95% of purchases with 85% of those

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 20, 2015
Online Publication Date Sep 24, 2015
Publication Date 2015-12
Deposit Date Oct 15, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 28, 2023
Journal Public Health
Print ISSN 0033-3506
Electronic ISSN 1476-5616
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 129
Issue 12
Pages 1571-1578
Keywords Alcohol; heavy drinkers; price; drink purchasing;
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations