Alcohol Use in China: Unrecorded and Recorded Bai Jiu in Three Rural Regions
In China, approximately 70% of beverage alcohol is consumed in the form of spirits. An estimated 25% of all alcohol consumed is unrecorded, mostly spirits (bai jiu), produced outside regulatory systems in small neighborhood distilleries, mostly in rural areas. Unrecorded bai jiu users are generally older, male, prefer higher-strength bai jiu, and use alcohol daily and mostly at home.
To explore possible regional differences, researchers used interview data from 2919 bai jiu users in rural areas in Hebei, Anhui, and Hubei provinces in China.
Results confirmed that patterns varied by province.
- The sample in Hubei preferred unrecorded bai jiu with a more stable preference to alcohol type, tended to use alcohol less frequently, and reported experiencing less alcohol use pressure, suggesting lower-risk alcohol use patterns in this region.
- The Hebei and Anhui sample reported higher frequency and greater amount of alcohol consumption, were more likely to experience alcohol use pressure, indicating higher-risk patterns in alcohol use in these two regions.
The results provide needed details about regional differences in unrecorded bai jiu alcohol use patterns that are not evident in aggregated data and suggest variations in alcohol use patterns that may reflect local geography, local values, traditions, and ethnic differences.