The Effect of the United Kingdom Smoking Ban on Alcohol Spending

Rob Pryce (The University of Sheffield)

The effect of smoking bans on alcohol consumption is unclear, and this is especially true of the differing effect on smokers and nonsmokers. This paper uses spending survey data to examine the effect of the United Kingdom smoking bans on alcohol spending. It finds the introduction of a smoking ban decreased alcohol expenditure, specifically in the on-trade (pubs and restaurants) and amongst smokers. This was not compensated for through an increase in alcohol expenditure amongst non-smokers. The smoking ban may have affected on-premise outlets through a reduction in revenue. Tobacco and alcohol policies should not be evaluated in isolation, as these are joint behaviours and a change in policy affecting one behaviour will have effects on the other.