A study presented by the World Health Organization on Monday showed that doubling taxes on alcohol in Europe would prevent about 5,000 people from dying of cancer each year.
According to this model published in the scientific journal scalpel“It is estimated that 10,700 new cases of cancer and 4,850 deaths from alcohol-related cancers each year in the WHO European Region could be avoided by doubling current taxes on alcoholic beverages,” asserts in a press release WHO Europe. .
Low taxes, dire consequences
This represents about 6% of new cases and deaths from cancers linked to alcohol consumption, notes the United Nations Health Organization. According to the latter, “increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages is one of the best measures” to reduce the number of cancer deaths, with “a significant potential impact” and “positive results in all countries”.
For the World Health Organization, current levels of alcohol taxes remain “low” in many European countries, including within the European Union, where increasing them should have one of the strongest effects. Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany are the countries that would save the most lives by taking this tax measure, with 725, 680 and 525 deaths, respectively, averted, according to its model.
650,000 deaths a year in Europe
According to the World Health Organization, of the 4.8 million new cases of cancer each year in Europe, 1.4 million die, as well as 650,000 deaths “related” to alcohol consumption. Of these, the organization estimates that 180,000 cases and 85,000 deaths are directly caused by alcohol.
The number of lives saved by doubling taxes relates specifically to breast cancer (1,000 deaths a year) and colorectal cancer (1,700). Alcohol is linked to seven different types of cancer: mouth, pharynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver, larynx, and breast.