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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A review of public opinion towards alcohol controls in Australia

Claire Tobin1*, A Rob Moodie2 and Charles Livingstone1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health and Social Science, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, PO Box 197 Caulfield East, Victoria 3145 Australia

2 Nossal Institute for Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria 3010 Australia

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:58  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-58

Published: 27 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Increasing concern about the negative impact of alcohol on the Australian community has renewed calls for tighter regulatory controls. This paper reviews levels of and trends in public support for liquor control regulations, regulation of alcohol promotions, and alcohol pricing and taxation reforms in Australia between 1998 and 2009.

Methods

Six electronic databases and twenty public health and alcohol organisation websites were searched for research literature, reports and media releases describing levels of public support for alcohol controls. Only studies which randomly selected participants were included.

Results

Twenty-one studies were included in the review. The majority of the Australian public support most proposed alcohol controls. Levels of support are divided between targeted and universal controls.

Conclusions

Implementation of targeted alcohol policies is likely to be strongly supported by the Australian public, but universal controls are liable to be unpopular. Policy makers are provided with insights into factors likely to be associated with higher public support.