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: When the economy is down, alcohol consumption goes up

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

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3 comments

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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.

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