Prof Nick Wilson*
This blog is part of the Public Health Solutions series looking at reducing pressure on the health system of Aotearoa NZ – this blog briefly considers raising alcohol taxes and further lowering the drink driving limits. There is good scientific evidence supporting both these measures and if political leaders explained the health and economic benefits – majority public support for such measures is quite plausible.
Image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago
Tim Chambers, Anja Mizdrak*
This blog is part of the Public Health Solutions series looking at effective public health measures to reduce demand on healthcare quickly. This blog looks at solutions to reducing alcohol-related harm through policies on alcohol tax, availability and marketing.
Image by by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Continue reading
Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Linda Cobiac, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Cristina Cleghorn
The New Zealand Government has set up a Tax Working Group to consider reforms of the tax system. In this blog we briefly discuss some of the opportunities for tax reform that will potentially improve health and lower health costs, reduce health inequalities and enhance environmental sustainability.
Professor Tony Blakely, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor John Attia (University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Australia)
Many observational studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The so-called J-shaped curve. We summarised the ‘state of play’ on this topic at PHE Blog in early 2014. In the last few weeks a large ‘Mendelian randomisation’ study (like a genetically determined RCT of alcohol consumption – a study design with much potential for identifying causal (as opposed to confounded) associations) has been published suggesting that any alcohol consumption increases CVD. If true, this means the overall health harm from alcohol consumption in our society is even higher than currently thought. If so it would make cost-effective interventions such as alcohol taxation even more justified.
Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Jennie Connor, Associate Professor Nick Wilson
As a strategy to reduce harm from alcohol, there is growing interest internationally around the setting of minimum prices on alcohol. In this blog we review a paper just published in the Lancet on this approach. We also consider the potential implications for New Zealand around combining minimum pricing with increases in alcohol excise tax.
Professor Jennie Connor, University of Otago, researches the public health impacts of alcohol policy in NZ