Price and Drinking

By Richard L. Brown, MD, MPH

A study in the May 2012 issue of Addiction reports an analysis of drinking patterns in British Columbia as the price of alcoholic beverages varied over 20 years. The study suggests that raising the price of alcohol substantially decreases consumption. Recently Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed that the UK establish minimal alcohol pricing to address its increasing alcohol problems. Wisconsin, which leads the US in binge drinking, continues to have the second or third lowest beer taxes in the United States, at sixth-tenths of a penny for 12 ounces.

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