The Finnish government was responding to an EU-wide harmonisation of travellers’ allowances in January 2004, and introduced the tax cuts to protect domestic sales. Finns were crossing the border to buy cheap booze in Estonia, which was set to join the European Union in May of that year. Finland, which operates a state retail monopoly on alcohol, carried out a pre-emptive measure in March to prevent excessive imports and thereby drastic losses in tax revenues. Sales tax was lowered by an average of 33% – much more for spirits (44%) – and retail prices fell by around 22% in consequence. As expected, sales – and therefore consumption levels - rose immediately. Recorded domestic sales in March 2004 were 50% higher than a year earlier, and total per capita consumption increased by 10% from 9.4 litres in 2003 to 10.3 litres in 2004.
In health terms, this had a dramatic and immediate effect on the rate of sudden deaths while under the influence of alcohol, such as accidents, suicides, homicides and alcoholic poisonings. Researchers analysed post-mortem forensic toxicology data (blood alcohol levels) over a 15-year period to account for seasonal and long-term variations. From March 2004 they identified a rise in alcohol-positive sudden deaths of 17% – an estimated eight additional deaths per week.
To bring the story up to date, travellers’ imports into Finland have now reached a plateau and future increases are likely to be prevented by the raising of excise duty in Estonia (up 5% in January 2005 and further increases planned for 2008). The Finnish government is also considering increasing the national alcohol tax levels. There is awareness that tax changes are an important policy lever which can be used for good or ill. The authors state: “Raising tax levels has been found to be the most cost-effective measure in reducing alcohol consumption and thus alcohol-related harms. Our study shows that taxation can influence the rate of alcohol-positive sudden deaths. A high taxation level cannot, however, be maintained without cooperation with neighbouring countries.”
Anna Koski, Reino Sirén, Erkki Vuori, Kari Poikolainen (2007): Alcohol tax cuts and increase in alcohol-positive sudden deaths - a time-series intervention analysis. ADDICTION 102 (3), 362–368.
Paivi Lehtinen | alfa
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy