Can Higher Liquor Prices Save Lives?

By Valerie Tejeda 02/08/13

A new study links higher alcohol prices to a 32% drop in drinking-related deaths.

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People drink less when booze costs more.
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Increasing the price of alcohol might lead to a significant drop in drinking-related deaths, according to a Canadian study published in the journal Addiction. Researchers found a 32% drop in deaths from alcohol between 2002 and 2009, when the government in British Columbia raised the prices of alcoholic drinks by 10%. "This study adds to the scientific evidence that, despite popular opinion to the contrary, even the heaviest drinkers reduce their consumption when minimum alcohol prices increase," says study lead Tim Stockwell of the University of Victoria's Center for Addictions Research of British Columbia. An earlier study conducted by the same team found that each 10% rise in the minimum price of alcohol led people to drink 3.4% less alcohol overall. “This study give a strong indication that the policy has reduced the consumption levels of those drinking at hazardous and harmful levels," says John Holmes of the alcohol research group at Britain's University of Sheffield. The United States currently does not set a minimum alcohol price on beverages.

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix, Salon.com, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.

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