Alcohol Tax Cuts Increase Death Rates by 17%

The impact of alcohol regulation changes in Finland during 2004 on alcohol-related sudden deaths was analysed, focusing on: 1 – removal of traveller’s allowance quotas on alcohol imports from other European Union countries, 2 – lowering of Finnish alcohol excise duty rates.

The impact of alcohol tax cuts in March 2004 was significant, resulting in an estimated eight additional alcohol-related deaths per week, which is a 17% increase compared with the weekly average of 2003.

Conclusions; Alcohol tax cuts were associated with an increase in the number of sudden deaths involving alcohol. This parallels the reported increases in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related causes of death in 2004 in Finland.

Reference; Anna Koski, Reino Sirén, Erkki Vuori, Kari Poikolainen (2007)
Alcohol tax cuts and increase in alcohol-positive sudden deaths—a time-series intervention analysis. Addiction 102 (3), 362–368.

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