Study: Increase booze tax, decrease harmful effects of booze on society

South Utica Liquor StoreRelying on previous research studying the relationship between alcohol taxes and risky behaviour, a new study estimates that increasing such taxes would have an effect on a host of harmful things associated with drinking.

The Deseret News reports that this study and a previous one showing a 5 per cent drop in boozing resulting from a 10 per cent increase in booze prices are pretty powerful. They quote the new study’s lead author Alexander C. Wagenaar: “These two studies establish beyond any reasonable doubt that, as the price of alcohol goes up, alcohol consumption and the rates of adverse outcomes related to consumption go down.”

According to the article’s abstract, Wagenaar, Amy L. Tobler, and Kelli A. Komro searched 12 databases and turned up 50 relevant journal articles in the process of building their estimation model.

From the abstract:

Conclusions. Public policies affecting the price of alcoholic beverages have significant effects on alcohol-related disease and injury rates. Our results suggest that doubling the alcohol tax would reduce alcohol-related mortality by an average of 35%, traffic crash deaths by 11%, sexually transmitted disease by 6%, violence by 2%, and crime by 1.4%.

The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health. All three authors are affiliated with the University of Florida.

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