Raising Alcohol Taxes Reduces Drinking, Study Says

Evidence is “statistically overwhelming” that communities can reduce alcohol consumption by raising alcohol taxes, according to a report from University of Florida researcher Alexander C. Wagenaar and colleagues.

The New York Times reported Jan. 20 that a review of 110 previously published studies concluded that higher taxes tended to reduce drinking among social drinkers and problem drinkers, teens and adults.

Reductions in alcohol consumption can benefit communities and individuals by reducing injuries, chronic health problems, and deaths — along with related expenses like healthcare and car insurance premiums — said Wagenaar.

The report appears in the February 2009 issue of the journal Addiction.

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