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Institute of Alcohol Studies. [IAS] (2016) Economic impacts of alcohol. London: Institute of Alcohol Studies. 12 p.

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A number of studies have attempted to calculate the cost of alcohol to society. This is tricky for two reasons. First, because many of the costs are difficult to estimate accurately. Second, because there is significant debate around which types of cost to include. The lack of a definitive set of criteria means that there is no single figure representing the cost of alcohol consumption to the UK.

The UK Government regularly cites the number £21 billion in relation to alcohol costs – this represents the ‘external’ cost of alcohol to society in England and Wales: the costs imposed by drinkers upon others, excluding any personal impact. Standard economic theory suggests that this should be the basis for setting alcohol taxes. However, this number remains controversial, and many groups, including IAS, have called for it to be updated or revised.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Report
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction
Source:IAS
Date:2016
Pages:12 p.
Publisher:Institute of Alcohol Studies
Corporate Creators:Institute of Alcohol Studies
Place of Publication:London
EndNote:View
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
B Substances > Alcohol
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care economics
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Economic policy
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Economic aspects of substance use (cost / pricing)
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom

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