Meta-analysis of the literature on the effect of alcohol taxes/prices on drinking, morbidity and mortality

State and local public and private health systems bear the brunt of dealing with morbidity and mortality associated with alcohol use. Approximately 85,000 people per year die, and the economic burden is $185 billion per year in the U.S. from alcohol-related causes. All states and many cities have specific taxes on alcoholic beverages. Yet, at the state level, revenues typically go into the general fund, and local alcohol tax revenues are often dedicated to building or maintaining stadiums and other entertainment venues, or to promote tourism. Revenues rarely are dedicated to state and local public health structures that must deal with the consequences of drinking. For multiple reasons, alcohol taxes are rising on the agenda of state and local health officials and policy-makers. Over 139 papers have been published on the effects of alcohol prices and taxes on drinking behavior, alcohol sales, and morbidity/mortality outcomes, with some 1000 different specific effect estimates. The findings across these studies will be converted into a small number of overall effect estimates for tax strategies and communicated in practical metrics that can be used by policy-makers, public health practitioners and advocates to change policy. This project supports the Foundation's Public Health Team's goal of using evidence to support policy change that will improve the public's health.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $199,866.00

Awarded on: 11/26/2007

Time frame: 12/1/2007 - 11/30/2009

Grant Number: 63372


University of Florida Center for Health Policy Research

P.O. Box 100177
Gainesville, 32610-0177

Alexander C. Wagenaar
Project Director