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Study: Raising Minimum Alcohol Price Saves Lives

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

stack of 20 dollars billsAfter a Canadian province raised the minimum price of alcohol, it saw an “immediate, substantial and significant” decline in drinking-related deaths. According to a study by Canadian researchers, when British Columbia raised the minimum alcohol price by 10 percent, alcohol-related deaths declined between 2002 and 2009. The province saw a 10 percent rise followed by a 32 percent drop in the rate of wholly alcohol attributable deaths. Deaths increased when more private alcohol stores opened, after the government partially privatized liquor stores that were previously government-owned.

Researchers call the study a major contribution to evidence regarding minimum alcohol pricing and a convincing indication that, despite popular opinion, the price of alcohol affects the drinking habits of even the heaviest drinkers. In earlier research, the team found that each 10 percent increase in the minimum price of alcohol led people to drink 3.4 percent less alcohol overall.

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Source: Reuters Sharp drop in drink deaths follows alcohol price rise

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