WHO recommends increasing alcohol taxes in Europe

the essential Doubling alcohol taxes in Europe would prevent some 5 die of cancer each year, according to a study presented Monday by the WHO.

According to a model published in the scientific journal The Lancet, “it is estimated that 10 700 new cases of cancer and 4 850 alcohol-related cancer deaths could be prevented each year in the WHO European region by doubling the current taxes on alcoholic beverages, “said in a statement the European branch of the WHO.

This represents about 6% of new cases and deaths of cancers linked to alcohol consumption, notes the UN health organization.

650 deaths, are “related to” alcohol consumption

According to the latter, “increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages is one of the best measures” towards reducing the number of cancer deaths, with “a high potential impact” and “positive results in all countries”. For the WHO, current levels of alcohol taxation remain “low” in many European countries, including within the European Union, where their increase should have one of the strongest impacts.

Russia, United Kingdom and Germany are the countries that would save the most lives by taking this tax measure, with respectively 725, 680 and 525 deaths avoided, according to its modeling.

According to the WHO, of the 4.8 million new cases of cancer each year in Europe, 1.4 million, as well as 650 000 deaths, are “related to” alcohol consumption. Of these, the organization estimates that 85. cases and 85. 000 deaths are directly caused by alcohol.

The number of lives saved by a doubling of taxes would concern in particular breast cancer (1. deaths per year) and colorectal cancers (1. 700).

Alcohol is linked to seven different types of cancer: mouth, pharynx, esophagus, colorectal, liver, larynx and breast.

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