Intended for healthcare professionals


Alcohol: WHO tells Europe to raise prices to reduce harm

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 01 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2649
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

Higher alcohol taxes, applied more effectively, are needed throughout Europe to reduce harms from problem drinking in a region with the world’s highest alcohol consumption, says the World Health Organization.

A report produced by its regional office for Europe found overwhelming evidence that raising prices was one of the most cost effective ways to reduce alcohol consumption. Although all European countries impose some form of price regulation, they vary enormously in how alcohol taxes are set and in their effectiveness.

Alcohol Pricing in the WHO European Region1 summarises the evidence on pricing strategies in reducing harm from alcohol …

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