Not a copyrighted scale
Cohen, S., Tyrrell, D. A. J., Russell, M. A. H., Jarvis, M. J., & Smith, A. P. (1993). Smoking, alcohol consumption, and susceptibility to the common cold. American Journal of Public Health, 83, 1277-1283.
To assess the frequency and amount of current alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking is considered deleterious to health. However, moderate drinking has been found to be beneficial in relation to infectious disease and heart disease.
Type of Measure
Participants respond to questions asking current and past alcohol consumption. Note: British study (BCS) asks only about current drinking habits
Number of Items
10 (BCS); 11 (PCS1); 9 (PCS2, PMBC, PCS3)
Current Alcohol Consumption
Average Number of Drinks Per Day (BCS, PCS1, PCS2, PMBC, PCS3)
- Average number of drinks per week was measured by questions that separated weekday and weekend drinking. A half pint, bottle or can of beer, a glass of wine, and a shot of whiskey contain approximately equal amounts of ethanol and were each treated as a single drink.
- The average number of drinks participants consumed on weekdays when they drank was multiplied by the number of weekdays on which they drank. Similarly, the average number of drinks consumed on weekend days was multiplied by the number of weekend days on which they drank. The sum of these two measures was then divided by seven, resulting in the average number of drinks per day.
- Persons indicating that they were occasional drinkers—that is, those who did not drink at least one drink every week—were assigned 0 drinks per day.
Past Alcohol Consumption (among current non-drinkers)
Former Drinker (yes/no) (PCS1, PCS2, PMBC, PCS3)
- Participants who indicate that they are not current drinkers are asked if they ever consumed alcohol at least once a week in the past.
Former Average Number of Drinks Per Week (PCS1, PCS2, PMBC, PCS3)
- Participants who indicate that they are not current drinkers but used to drink alcohol at least once a week in the past are asked about their former drinking (when they were drinking the heaviest). They are asked to indicate the number of days that they drank per week (on average) and the number of drinks they typically had per day when they were drinking the heaviest.
- The former average number of drinks per week was calculated by multiplying the average number of days on which participants formerly drank by the average number of drinks per day.
When Participant Quit Drinking (PCS1, PCS2, PMBC, PCS3)
Participants who indicate that they are not current drinkers are asked to indicate the month and year in which they quit drinking alcohol at least once per week.
* PMBC, PCS3: For additional alcohol-related questions, see also Daily Interviews