walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Finnish Alcohol Consumption after Tax and Duty Changes

R. has been very persistent on this and tracked down the study that I was unable to find.


"This was the subject of a study following a significant reduction in taxes in Finland in 2004 (30% for spirits, 3% for wine).The abolition of import quotas by the EU in 2004 also made it possible to import from other member countries and this led to an increase of approximately 10% in alcohol consumption in Finland."

Engaging in a little stereotyping, the Finns have a bit of a rep for consuming lots of alcohol and that being a problem, so there was a lot of interest in what the effect of this change would be. Yes, there _was_ an increase in alcohol consumption and alcohol related mortality -- but there was also a decrease in CVD mortality (not cancer) and some others as well. The thinking is that while the people who had trouble with alcohol got into a little more trouble, the beneficial effects of an overall increase in moderate consumption of alcohol more than compensated for those additional negative effects.

Many thanks to my husband for pursuing this in the face of wild skepticism on my part. The summary is very much worth reading, and the conclusions in line with the way I think about the world (prohibition bad; regulation good; tricky to find the line, but worth making adjustments to get it right).

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