4 june 2013

Alcohol Policy Changes and Trends in Adolescent Drinking in Finland from 1981 to 2011

AIMS: To test if changes in national alcohol policy have had an impact on alcohol use among 12- to 18-year-old adolescents in Finland over a 30-year period.

METHODS: Frequencies of drinking any amounts of alcohol and drinking alcohol until really drunk from bi-annual repeated cross-sectional surveys from 1981 to 2011 were examined against a national alcohol policy review using nationally representative samples of 12-, 14-, 16- and 18-year-old adolescents (n = 99,724) in Finland.

RESULTS: Twelve-year-olds' alcohol drinking remained rare throughout the period. Drinking among 18-year-olds generally increased throughout the period. Significant increases until the late 1990s and decreases thereafter were observed in 14- and 16-year-olds' drinking patterns. A sharp increase was predicted between 2003 and 2005 as a result of EU-related processes, but instead decrease was observed among 14-16-year-olds. The tests of hypothesized decrease from 2005 to 2011 due to tightening alcohol policy including several tax raises produced mixed results.

CONCLUSION: Alcohol policy changes between 1981 and 2011 seem not to have had noticeable influence on alcohol drinking or drunkenness among the under-aged in Finland. Conspicuous increases seen in population total consumption in association with EU-related developments have not materialized among adolescents.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Lintonen T.; Karlsson T.; Nevalainen J.; Konu A.
  • Issue

    Alcohol Alcohol. 48(5):620-6.
  • Published Date

    4 june 2013