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If tax high, alcohol drinking low: Report

If tax high, alcohol drinking low: Report

Increasing excise taxes on alcoholic beverages and regulating availability of alcohol are some of the ways to discourage people from drinking liquor, a report said Monday.

The harmful effects of alcohol are the fifth leading risk factor for premature deaths and disability. It is among the top risk factors for non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, the report said.

The report titled 'Trouble Brewing' has been prepared by global health and development organizations like Vital Strategies, the NCD Alliance, International Organisation of Good Templars International and the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA).

The report comes days after a World Health Organisation report said that the per capita alcohol consumption in India has more than doubled from 2005 to 2016.

In India, the consumption of alcohol has increased from 2.4 liters in 2005 to 5.7 liter in 2016, with 4.2 liters being consumed by men and 1.5 liters by women.

"The government has the opportunity to prevent millions of deaths from harmful alcohol use every year,' said Adam Karpati, senior vice president, Public Health Programs at the global health organization.

Globally, the harmful effects of alcohol are the fifth leading risk factor for premature deaths and disability and among the top risk factors for non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Alcohol use also increases susceptibility to communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS and contributes to suicide, the report noted.

Alcohol doesn't only harm the person who consumes it, it plays a significant role in violent incidents including homicide and sexual violence and studies show that drunk driving increases the risk of a fatal road crash up to 17 times, it said.

Increasing excise taxes on alcoholic beverages to reduce affordability, regulating the availability of alcohol – how, when, and to whom it is sold - and restricting exposure to alcohol advertising are some of the ways suggested by the report to discourage people from buying liquor.

"Alcohol use is increasing most noticeably in countries where marketing and use of commercially produced alcohol are expanding," said Rebecca Perl, lead author of "Trouble Brewing" and vice president of Partnerships and Initiatives at Vital Strategies.

"The industry is targeting young people and women to increase sales," she said.



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