Alcohol tax increases deter drinking

January 28, 2009

In a study conducted by the Univ. of Florida, researchers found that the more alcohol costs, the less likely people are to drink it. Many studies have analyzed how tax or price increases affect people’s drinking habits, but this study was the first to examine findings from 112 studies spanning four decades. The researchers used a statistical procedure called meta-analysis, which allowed them to draw conclusions that are not limited to specific policy changes or a single state or country. The study also determined that tax or price increases affect the broad population of drinkers, including heavy drinkers as well as light drinkers, and teens as well as adults.

“Results from over 100 separate studies reporting over 1,000 distinct statistical estimates are remarkably consistent, and show without doubt that alcohol taxes and prices affect drinking,” said Alexander Wagenaar, Univ. of Florida College of Medicine Professor of Epidemiology and Health Policy Research.

The study is published in Addiction.


Univ. of Florida release