February 29, 2024

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According to the World Health Organization, taxes on alcoholic beverages are insufficiently high

2 min read

In their Tuesday statement, the OMS urged governments to increase tax rates on alcoholic beverages and extend them to products currently exempt, such as wine in certain European countries. Additionally, the organization advocated for higher levies on sugary drinks, noting that 2.6 million people die annually due to alcohol consumption and 8 million due to unhealthy diets.

Rudiger Krech, OMS’s Director of Health Promotion, stated that imposing taxes on these products contributes to public health. “It has a positive ripple effect throughout society, reducing diseases, weakening, and increasing revenue for governments to provide public services,” emphasized Krech. He also highlighted that, in the case of alcohol, it helps prevent violence and injuries from traffic accidents.

Public health organizations, including the OMS, are increasingly focusing on the health consequences of alcohol and sugary foods, following the success in highlighting deaths and illnesses related to tobacco. On Tuesday, the OMS also released an “alcohol tax manual,” complementing similar documents addressing tobacco and sugary beverages. It emphasizes that most alcohol taxes are “low and suboptimal,” urging governments to introduce higher rates and tax all types of alcohol, as wine, for example, is entirely untaxed in 22 countries, mainly European.

Alcohol consumption is identified as a causal factor in over 200 diseases and injuries, including cancer, liver cirrhosis, and cardiovascular problems, according to the OMS. Meanwhile, industry associations argue that higher levies lead to reduced sales and tax revenues, jeopardizing the survival of some companies.

Published by Iraic.Info, a news and information agency.

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