Higher alcohol prices may help curb heavy drinking and lower associated violence and health-care costs in Canada, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
The new study from the centre calls for three key changes to policies nationwide: index prices to inflation, base pricing on alcohol content, and implement or increase minimum prices.
The report suggests that a 10 per cent increase in the minimum price of alcohol would result in a 4.4 per cent drop in consumption focused in the areas of heavy users. A study in Saskatchewan showed an even more dramatic decline, particularly in cheaper alcohol.The Saskatchewan experiment demonstrated that a 10 per cent increase in minimum liquor prices can have an effect on consumption across the board. The study, authored by Tim Stockwell of the University of Victoria and published in the October 2012 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, noted that the increase resulted in a cumulative decrease of 8.43 per cent in alcohol consumption.