Public Opinion on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Sugar Policy and its Economic Implications in Sweden : A study on sociodemographic factors’ effects on health policy attitudes of Swedes

University essay from Jönköping University/IHH, Nationalekonomi

Abstract: Using paired samples t-tests, this study examines attitudes toward government intervention to decrease the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and sugar to improve public health in Sweden. The effects of the four sociodemographic variables gender, age, education, and income on attitudes toward health policies are tested using Ordinary Least Squares and ordered probit regressions. The research is performed using cross-sectional data which is supplied by a national survey. The results show that tobacco should be regulated the most, followed by alcohol and lastly sugar. According to the respondents, tobacco and alcohol consumption need clear societal restrictions while individuals should be responsible for their sugar consumption. This implies that tobacco and alcohol restrictions introduced by the government should be effective and should, therefore, reduce the consumption and subsequently decrease a country’s economic costs. The opposite is true for sugar policy. Women, younger people, highly educated people, and people with higher incomes are positively related to support toward tobacco restrictions. Women, younger people, and highly educated people show more support for alcohol restrictions. Lastly, respondents with higher levels of education are more supportive of sugar restrictions.

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