Impacts of licensed premises trading hour policies on
, Ante Prodan
, Michael Livingston
, Dylan Knowles
, Eloise O’Donnell
, Devon Indig
, Andrew Page
, Geoff McDonnell
The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, Sax Institute, Sydney, Australia,
Decision Analytics, Sax Institute, Sydney, Australia,
Menzies Centre for Health Policy,
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Australia,
School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, Western Sydney University, Australia,
Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia,
Anthrodynamics Simulation Services, Saskatchewan, Canada,
School of Public Health and
Community Medicine, University of NSW, Australia,
Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, Australia,
Hunter New England Population
Health, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
and School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Background and aim
Evaluations of alcohol policy changes demonstrate that restriction of trading hours of both ‘on’-
and ‘off ’-licence venues can be an effective means of reducing rates of alcohol-related harm. Despite this, the effects of dif-
ferent trading hour policy options over time, accounting for different contexts and demographic characteristics, and the
common co-occurrence of other harm reduction strategies in trading hour policy initiatives, are difﬁcult to estimate.
The aim of this study was to use dynamic simulation modelling to compare estimated impacts over time of a range of trad-
ing hour policy options on various indicators of acute alcohol-related harm.
An agent-based model of alcohol
consumption in New South Wales, Australia was developed using existing research evidence, analysis of available data and
a structured approach to incorporating expert opinion. Five policy scenarios were simulated, including restrictions to trad-
ing hours of on-licence venues and extensions to trading hours of bottle shops. The impact of the scenarios on four mea-
sures of alcohol-related harm were considered: total acute harms, alcohol-related violence, emergency department (ED)
presentations and hospitalizations.
Simulation of a 3 a.m. (rather than 5 a.m.) closing time resulted in an esti-
mated 12.3 ± 2.4% reduction in total acute alcohol-related harms, a 7.9 ± 0.8% reduction in violence, an 11.9 ± 2.1%
reduction in ED presentations and a 9.5 ± 1.8% reduction in hospitalizations. Further reductions were achieved simulat-
ing a 1 a.m. closing time, including a 17.5 ± 1.1% reduction in alcohol-related violence. Simulated extensions to bottle
shop trading hours resulted in increases in rates of all four measures of harm, although most of the effects came from in-
creasing operating hours from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
An agent-based simulation model suggests that
restricting trading hours of licensed venues reduces rates of alcohol-related harm and extending trading hours of bottle
shops increases rates of alcohol-related harm. The model can estimate the effects of a range of policy options.
Keywords Agent-based modelling, alcohol-related harm, dynamic simulation modelling, evaluation, simulation,
trading hour policy.
Correspondence to: Jo-An Atkinson, The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, Sax Institute, PO Box K617, Haymarket, NSW 1240, Australia.
Submitted 31 August 2017; initial review completed 30 November 2017; ﬁnal version accepted 25 January 2018
Preventing alcohol misuse and its harms is a complex,
systemic problem [1,2]. Harms associated with alcohol
consumption are estimated to account for 5.9 % of all
deaths and 5.1 % of the burden of disease globally, with
costs amounting to more than 1 % of gross national
product in high-income countries [3,4]. Policies regulat-
ing alcohol availability including temporal restrictions
(reductions in trading hours) are a suggested key strat-
egy for reducing alcohol-related harms and are reported
to be second only to pricing policy in terms of their effec-
tiveness . A number of reviews have highlighted the
effectiveness of policies that restrict trading hours on re-
ducing alcohol-related harms [6–8]. A more recent sys-
tematic review has added further strength to this
evidence, pointing to well-designed intervention studies
from Australia, Norway and the Netherlands that have
© 2018 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction. Addiction, 113,1244–1251
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