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Cost benefit analyses of alcohol policy - a primer

Anderson, Peter, Baumberg Geiger, Ben (2010) Cost benefit analyses of alcohol policy - a primer. Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw., 53 pp. ISBN 978-83-61705-07-9. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:36090)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


Alcohol is no ordinary commodity (Babor et al 2010). In health terms, it is a toxic substance. In legalterms, it is a licit drug whose sale and consumption are highly regulated. In economic terms, its useresults in major external costs (consumption externalities), and its use leads to both short-termirrationality (i.e., intoxication) and long-term irrationality, and to information failures (MarsdenJacob Associates 2009).Alcohol is a cause of considerable health and social burden to the European Union. Alcohol is a causeof over some 60 conditions and disorders (Rehm et al 2010), and is the third leading risk factor for ill-health and premature death in the European Union after hypertension and tobacco use (Anderson &Baumberg 2006). The harm done by alcohol is exacerbated by health inequalities (Anderson &Baumberg 2006), and alcohol is a major cause itself of health inequalities within and betweencountries. It has been calculated that some 25% of the differences in middle aged life expectancybetween eastern and western Europe is due to alcohol (Zatonksi et al 2008). It is estimated that theoverall social cost of alcohol to the Union is some €125billion each year (Anderson& Baumberg2006).There is a very extensive evidence base for the impact of policies in reducing the harm done byalcohol (WHO 2009a; Anderson et al 2009; Babor et al 2010). Systematic reviews and meta-analysesshow that policies that regulate the environment in which alcohol is marketed (particularly its priceand availability) are effective in reducing alcohol-related harm. Enforced legislative measures toreduce drinking and driving and individually-directed interventions to already at-risk drinkers arealso effective. On the contrary, school-based education is found not to reduce alcohol-related harm,although public information and education type programmes have a role in providing information,and in increasing attention and acceptance of alcohol on the political and public agendas.

Item Type: Research report (external)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2013 13:44 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Baumberg Geiger, Ben.

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