Higher liquor taxes may reduce deaths related to alcohol consumption, the Chicago Tribune reports. A new study examined Alaska’s alcohol tax rates over a 30-year period in conjunction with deaths from alcohol-related diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver. When taxes were raised, such deaths decreased by as much as 29%.
Higher taxes are also cheaper to implement than alcohol-rehabilitation programs or clinics, the researchers point out. “The simple fact is that if you raise alcohol taxes, you save lives,” one said. “It's a simple adjustment that has a very, very low cost, and it has a significantly larger effect than any of these preventions we've tried.”