UQ research finds alcopops tax ineffective

December 12, 2011

A University of Queensland research team have evaluated the effectiveness of the 'alcopops' tax by studying binge drinking-related admissions at the Gold Coast Hospital.

The 70% tax was introduced by the Federal Government in April 2008 in an attempt to reduce binge drinking in young people.

The team's findings, published today in The , demonstrate the tax did not affect the number of alcohol-related harms observed on the Gold Coast.

Methodology and key findings:

- The research team studied whether the number of people aged 15 to 29 who presented at hospital with conditions related to binge drinking fell following the increase in alcopops tax

- The research team looked at presentation to the Gold Coast two years prior to the tax increase in April 2008, and two years thereafter. They compared the number of younger and older people presenting with the same of , in addition to the number of young people presenting with other conditions

- The team found no reduction in alcohol-related health consequences following the tax

- Raising the price of just one type of drink may not reduce alcohol-related harms

- Without question, taxation is one of the most effective approaches to reduce . Our findings provide further evidence for a more comprehensive approach to alcohol control that includes taxing all drinks equally by alcoholic content .

Explore further: Little evidence that binge drinking while pregnant seriously harms fetus

More information: "Effect of the increase in 'alcopops' tax on alcohol-related harms in young people: a controlled interrupted time series." The Medical Journal of Australia. (DOI) 10.5694/mja10.10865

Related Stories

Binge drinking: Too prevalent and hazardous

January 17, 2011

Binge drinking, an activity that many young people engage in, has associated adverse health risks and we need to do a better job of controlling overall alcohol usage, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

When the economy is down, alcohol consumption goes up

October 13, 2011

Previous studies have found that health outcomes improve during an economic downturn. Job loss means less money available for potentially unhealthy behaviors such as excessive drinking, according to existing literature on ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nanobanano
3.5 / 5 (2) Dec 12, 2011
The team found no reduction in alcohol-related health consequences following the tax


It's pretty simple.

Anyone dumb enough to harm themself by binge drinking is also dumb enough to pay 70% more.

The logic of this measure is flawed, because it assumes people are rational, which is ridiculous.

if people were rational, they wouldn't binge drink in the first place.

Again, idiots are not only willing to hurt themselves by any means: drugs, alcohol, etc, but they are also willing to pay more to do so. By and large, increasing a tax or penalty will not deter the negative behavior.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Dec 12, 2011
There will be a point where prices will be so high that they can't afford to purchase the things. The problem of course is that they will just make their own.

Since problem drinking seems to to have a genetic component, the solution would appear to be chemical.
BobKob
not rated yet Dec 13, 2011
No they just went onto different alcohol.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.