A review of alcohol pricing and its effects on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.
Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences, 1
Alcohol has a complex relationship with any given society. On one hand, it may have some benefits by providing a means of leisure and socialization and a source of revenue through taxation of its sales while on the other hand; it has harmful effects by being a direct cause of many medical illnesses, accidents and crime.1 The number of deaths directly related to alcohol in England in 2008 were 6,769, which is a 24% increase from 2001.2 To combat this rising number of alcohol-related problems, the government has introduced various strategies and indicators in order to monitor the effectiveness of interventions. NI39 is one such national indicator for alcohol-related harm, which measures alcohol-related admissions per 100,000 populations on a quarterly and yearly basis, with the first quarter starting in April and the last quarter ending in March. This rate (NI39) for England in 2009/2010 was 1,743/100,000, which is a 10% increase from 2008/2009 statistics.3 Furthermore, the NI39 estimates for the first two quarters of 2010/11 are about 942/100,000, predicting a 9% further increase from previous year.4 In addition, there was an average of 271 alcohol dependence-related prescriptions in England per 100,000 in 2009, costing the National Health Service about £2.38 million.5 Hence, we can see that the burden of alcohol misuse in England is huge, making it a priority problem in public health.
According to the economics, the demand of a product is inversely proportional to its price, which means that an increase in the price of a product will decrease its demand and vice versa. Alcohol now is 70% more affordable than it was in 19805, which may be related to increasing alcohol misuse. Therefore, pricing has been regarded as one of the central tools in alcohol policy. 6 On 18th January 2011, the government set a minimum price of alcohol for England and Wales7 resulting in a great amount of discussion on the effects of alcohol price, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm. This paper aims to review the current literature and to examine the evidence for an association between alcohol price, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm.
||University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Epidemiology and Public Health
Wahid, Ms. Haleema
||28 Apr 2014 12:06
||14 Sep 2016 22:27
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