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Finland has never had neither minimum or maximum pricing, but very high taxes when alcohol has been legally available.

Between 1890 and 1970 there was either prohibition or a permission required for purchase of alcohol, which according to the latest understanding is the main cause behind unfortunate habit of binge drinking - you drink as fast as you can whatever you have managed to get your hands on.

In 2004 the alcohol tax was reduced by 30% with the consequence of health issues and deaths in the alcohol dependent +50 age group. Alcohol consumption in the younger generations has been decreasing for the last couple of decades, and cheaper alcohol had no perceivable effect on that.

Since 2008 the tax has been rising again, and currently covers 120-130% of the total costs to society from alcohol abuse (health issues, job absence, violence etc), so government after government has found it difficult to change the policy radically. Even under strong pressure from EU.

One set of experts say that high taxes keep the general consumption down, and accordingly the heavy drinkers drink less, too. Another set says that the policy should focus on identifying heavy drinkers and people with addiction and helping them instead of "punishing" everyone. So far the policymakers have been listening to the first set.

by pelgus on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 10:38:22 AM EST

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