Alcohol Taxation Benefits – Win-Win-Win Measure
A triple win measure for global health and sustainable development
The new resource visualizes the vast and growing evidence that alcohol taxation holds massive potential for global health, for helping achieve the sustainable development goals and also for significantly contributing to financing health and development. The most cost-effective measures to prevent and address alcohol harm remain price interventions especially through taxation.
Implementing alcohol taxation measures reaps a triple positive effect:
Domestic resource mobilization
- Generate government revenue for nancing development and health promotion
Easing the public health and sustainable development burden
- Reduce alcohol-related harms and alcohol’s overall public health, social and economic burden
Prevention of initiation of alcohol use
- Maintain high-levels of alcohol abstention rates in low- and middle income countries
Global health burden and major obstacle to development
Alcohol harm is growing throughout much of the world. Alcohol use causes 3.3 million deaths per year, meaning every 10 seconds a human being dies due to alcohol. It is the 7th leading cause of death and disability worldwide, and is the leading cause of death and disability for young people ages 15 to 49.
13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are adversely affected by alcohol and ill-health and deaths from alcohol consumption disproportionally affect poorer countries and poorer populations within countries.
At the same time, evidence shows that alcohol’s pervasive harm is preventable. The new infographic and resource highlights the important role that alcohol taxation can and should play in preventing harm and helping achieve the SDGs.
Alcohol taxation – massive potential for health and development financing
Learning from tobacco
WHO estimates show that if all countries increased tobacco taxes by 50% government revenue would increase by US$ 101 Billion globally
Domestic resource mobilization: Untapped potential
Compared with tobacco taxation, the potential for domestic resource mobilization through alcohol taxation could be even bigger since taxes on alcohol tend to be lower in most countries.
A study of 42 high-, middle- and low-income countries found that raising excise duties on alcohol to at least 40% of the total retail price would increase tax revenue in these countries by 80% to US$ 77 Billion.
Expressed as a proportion of total current spending on health, it is low-income countries that have most to gain (additional receipts would amount to 38% of total current spending on health).
For further reading
Find all the evidence sources and more background information on alcohol taxation here.