Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages reduces disease, injury, crime and death rates, study finds

Date:
September 26, 2010
Source:
Burness Communications
Summary:
Increasing the costs to consumers of beer, wine and hard liquor significantly reduces the rates of a wide range of alcohol-related deaths, diseases, injuries and other problems, according to a new study.

Increasing the costs to consumers of beer, wine, and hard liquor significantly reduces the rates of a wide range of alcohol-related deaths, diseases, injuries, and other problems, according to a new study published in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health and scheduled for inclusion in the November print edition.

Researchers at the University of Florida (UF) report that public policies that increase the price of alcoholic beverages, such as increases in alcohol excise taxes, not only reduce drinking but also significantly reduce most of the negative and costly outcomes associated with alcohol.

According to the researchers, alcohol taxes have considerably larger effects than prevention programs on a state's burden of alcohol-related problems. The results suggest that doubling the average state tax on alcohol would be associated, on average, with a 35 percent reduction in alcohol-related mortality, an 11 percent reduction in traffic crash deaths, a 6 percent reduction in STDs, a 2 percent reduction in violence, and a 1.4 percent reduction in crime.

"Our meta-analysis cumulated information from all the published scientific research on this topic over the past half century, and results clearly show increasing the price of alcohol will result in significant reductions in many of the undesirable outcomes associated with drinking," said Alexander C. Wagenaar, PhD, professor of health outcomes and policy at UF College of Medicine and lead author of the study. "Simply adjusting decades-old tax rates to account for inflation could save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in law enforcement and health care costs."

For this meta-analysis study, the researchers identified 50 published research papers containing 340 estimates of the effects of alcohol taxes or prices on the rates of a variety of outcomes, including: all-cause morbidity and mortality, alcohol-related diseases or injuries, violence, suicide, traffic safety outcomes, STDs and risky sexual behaviors, other drug use, and crimes and misbehaviors. Through a meta-analysis of the aggregate data from all those studies, the researchers found that alcohol prices and taxes are significantly and inversely related to all outcome categories examined except suicide, for which data were too sparse to draw a firm conclusion.

"Results are surprisingly consistent," said Wagenaar. "With the sole exception of suicide rates, every category of outcome examined shows a significant effect of alcohol taxes and prices."

This study follows a previous meta-analysis study through which these researchers found that a 10 percent increase in alcohol price results in about a 5 percent reduction in alcohol consumption. That study examined 112 research papers containing 1,004 estimates of the effects of alcohol prices on alcohol sales and drinking behaviors.

"Taken together, 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," said Wagenaar. "The strength of these findings suggests that tax increases may be the most effective way we have to prevent excessive drinking -- and also have drinkers pay more of their fair share for the damages caused and costs incurred."

Wagenaar's study, Effects of Alcohol Tax and Price Policies on Morbidity and Mortality: A Systematic Review, was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Burness Communications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexander C. Wagenaar, Amy L. Tobler, and Kelli A. Komro. Effects of Alcohol Tax and Price Policies on Morbidity and Mortality: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Public Health, 2010; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.186007

Cite This Page:

Burness Communications. "Increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages reduces disease, injury, crime and death rates, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100923162401.htm>.
Burness Communications. (2010, September 26). Increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages reduces disease, injury, crime and death rates, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100923162401.htm
Burness Communications. "Increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages reduces disease, injury, crime and death rates, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100923162401.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins