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Home > Research into the potential for substance switching following the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol in Wales.

Holloway, Katy and May, Tom and Buhociu, Marian and Livingston, Wulf and Perkins, Andy and Madoc-Jones, Iolo . (2019) Research into the potential for substance switching following the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol in Wales. Cardiff: Welsh Government. 146 p. GSR report number 48/2019

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This report presents the results of a study investigating the potential consequences of introducing a minimum price for alcohol in Wales with a focus on the possibility of ‘substance switching’. 

1.2 The research gathered the views and opinions of both service providers and drinkers using a combination of qualitative interviews and online survey questionnaires (see Sections 1.7-1.10 ‘Language’ and Chapter 5 for further detail on the use of these labels/descriptors). 

1.3 In relation to service providers, the key objectives of the study were to explore:

  • their awareness and understanding of the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Act 2018 legislation (from now on referred to as MPA legislation);
  • the approaches that might be used to help people prepare for the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol;
  • their perceptions of the likelihood of people switching substances; and
  • their thoughts on what additional support materials or guidance might be required. 

1.4 In relation to drinkers, the research objectives were similar to those for the providers but also included some additional issues relevant to substance switching. The objectives for drinkers were therefore to explore:

  • their awareness and understanding of the MPA legislation;
  • their perceptions of the incoming legislation;
  • how they will prepare for the change in the legislation;
  • their existing use of alternative substances;
  • whether they would be likely to switch to another substance and if so, to what and if not, why not;
  • whether they would use any strategies to cope with the change in price; and
  • what support they may require to prepare for the change.

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