Evidence shows that cost does affect alcohol consumption, and reducing consumption improves public health
There is strong evidence that increasing the cost of alcohol reduces the overall amount that is consumed.1 In a range of countries, price increases have been consistently shown to reduce alcohol consumption and related harms in both the general population and at-risk populations such as young people and heavy drinkers. Conversely, price decreases have resulted in an increase in consumption and harm.1-3 In this context, the Australian Government’s April 2008 increase in excise tax (Bill introduced on 11 February 2009) on ready-to-drink (RTD) spirit-based products (RTDs; “alcopops”) is an evidence-based strategy to reduce excessive RTD consumption among young people. The alcoholic content of RTDs is now taxed at a similar rate to that of other spirits (tax increased from $39.36 to $66.67 per litre of pure alcohol).
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