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Home > Alcohol pricing in the WHO European Region. Update report on the evidence and recommended policy actions.

WHO Regional Office for Europe. [WHO] (2020) Alcohol pricing in the WHO European Region. Update report on the evidence and recommended policy actions. Copenhagan: World Health Organization. 36 p.

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According to the new WHO/Europe report, “Alcohol pricing in the WHO European Region”, increasing the prices that consumers pay for alcohol is one of the most cost-effective tools available for policy-makers looking to reduce alcohol consumption and associated harm.

Well-chosen pricing policies can help countries not only lower alcohol consumption and associated health risks, but also benefit economies. While every country in the WHO European Region has some form of pricing regulation in place on alcohol markets, these existing measures are often poorly designed and therefore ineffective, concludes the new WHO/Europe report.

Alcohol is one of the leading factors for years lost due to ill health, disability or early death in the Region, which also has the highest level of alcohol consumption in the world. This burden falls disproportionately on people of working age. Alcohol is attributed to every fourth death in people aged 25–29 and ranked as the leading risk factor in the Region for people aged 15–49 years. This is not only an urgent health issue, but also a factor that restrains economic development. Alcohol places a further financial burden on societies across Europe through its impact on health care and criminal justice services which often dwarfs the revenue raised through alcohol taxation.

The report, “Alcohol pricing in the WHO European Region”, summarizes the current evidence base on monetary policies aimed at reducing alcohol consumption and describes the most effective ones for policy-makers to consider.

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