Friday, July 23, 2010

Alex C. Wagenaar, associate director at PHLR, and Mildred M. Maldonado-Molina recently published an article in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

They write that more than "a hundred studies have established the effects of beverage alcohol taxes and prices on sales and drinking behaviors. Yet, relatively few studies have examined effects of alcohol taxes on alcohol-related mortality. We evaluated effects of multiple changes in alcohol tax rates in the state of Florida from 1969 to 2004 on disease (not injury) mortality."

They " found significant reductions in mortality related to chronic heavy alcohol consumption following legislatively induced increases in alcohol taxes in Florida." and concluded that "increased alcohol taxes are associated with significant and sizable reductions in alcohol-attributable mortality in Florida. Results indicate that 600 to 800 lives per year could be saved if real tax rates were returned to 1983 levels (when the last tax increase occurred). Findings highlight the role of tax policy as an effective means for reducing deaths associated with chronic heavy alcohol use."