Working with or against the stores?

Susanna Geidne (School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden)
Charli Eriksson (School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Publication date: 17 April 2009



The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse the implementation by a non‐governmental organization (NGO) of an intervention with two different strategies – one employing confrontational approaches, the other cooperative ones – aiming to reduce the rate of successful purchase attempts (PAs) of medium‐strength beer in Sweden.


The Swedish Youth Temperance Movement (UNF) has been responsible for the development and implementation of the intervention, and a research team at Örebro University for the evaluation. The outcome analysis is based on 1,475 PA from 25 Swedish cities during 2003‐2006. Annual reports, discussions and telephone interviews have been used to understand the intervention process.


In 40 per cent of all registered PAs, beer is sold to minors. In the eight cities using a structured strategy, there is a significant decrease from 2003 to 2006 (44‐27 per cent; p<0.001). The confrontation method, compared to no model, is more than four times (OR = 3.8; CI 2.0‐7.0) more likely to yield a positive result. Compared to the cooperation method, it is even more likely to yield a positive result (OR = 4.7; CI 2.1‐10.7).

Practical implications

Working with a structured strategy gives significantly better results than working without one. The confrontation method is more successful than the cooperation method. Developing a preventive strategy takes time, cooperation perhaps requiring even more time to succeed than confrontation. The result reveals the importance of building local networks in the municipalities.


The advocacy for Swedish alcohol policy by the young members of UNF and participatory research is a unique combination.



Geidne, S. and Eriksson, C. (2009), "Working with or against the stores?", Health Education, Vol. 109 No. 3, pp. 259-278.

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