Alcohol, which causes 88,000 deaths a year in the USA, is a grave public health concern. Studies show deaths linked to alcohol are up 35 to 50 percent since 2000. But the way forward is less clear.
The Trump administration's tax cut last year included an 18 percent break in the federal tax on beer, wine and liquor. States with more stringent alcohol policies show lower rates of binge drinking as per an analysis of state laws and taxes in 2014.
Binge drinking accounts for about half of all deaths attributable to alcohol, two-thirds of years of life lost and three-quarters of economic costs. Excise taxes are levied on alcohol, which are based on the volume sold and sales taxes, which are based on the retail price. According to Disease Control and Prevention, a 10 percent increase in taxes lead to 5 or 8 percent decline in drinking.
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