Regulations on the availability of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances have been used to moderate problems in communities throughout the world for thousands of years. In the latter half of the 20th century, quantitative studies of the effects of these regulations on drinking, smoking and substance use and related problems began in earnest as public health practitioners began to recognize the full extent of the harmful consequences related to drinking and substance use. More broadly, policy approaches can be applied to a range of health-related problems, including violence, STIs, unwanted pregnancy, diabetes, and health disparities.

PRC’s research program is directed toward the development and evaluation of effective policy and environmental approaches to moderate alcohol and other substance use and related problems. Our work has always looked beyond classic economic theory and policy interventions that affect taxes and prices, to include studies of regulatory systems and modifications of drinking environments that can lead to healthy communities.

Here we present a sample of the policy concerns addressed by PRC researchers over the past decades.