Hike Booze Tax to Save Lives: Study

Alaskan fatalities from alcohol-related diseases plunged when levy was raised
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2008 3:52 AM CST
Higher liquor taxes correlated with fewer alcohol-related deaths in a study by University of Florida scientists.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – 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.”