Tax imposition may help curb alcohol abuse

January 16th, 2009 - 1:56 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 16 (ANI): Increasing the cost of liquor by imposing taxes can significantly reduce alcohol abuse, with a new study showing that less number of people are likely to drink if the cost of alcoholic beverages is high.

Results from over 100 separate studies reporting over 1000 distinct statistical estimates are remarkably consistent, and show without doubt that alcohol taxes and prices affect drinking,” said Alexander C. Wagenaar, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology and health policy research at the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the senior author of the study.

“When prices go down, people drink more, and when prices go up, people drink less,” he added.

Wagenaar said that using taxes to raise prices of alcoholic beverages could prove to be more effective a deterrent to drinking than law enforcement, media campaigns or school programmes.

The study has also revealed that tax or price increases affect the broad population of drinkers, including heavy drinkers as well as light drinkers, including teens as well as adults.

Dr. Frank Chaloupka, Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said: “These findings provide a strong rationale for using increases in alcoholic beverage taxes to promote public health by reducing drinking.”

The study has been published in the Addiction journal. (ANI)

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