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Boost alcohol prices and cut drink deaths, says report

Increasing the price of alcohol by 10 per cent can cut drink-related deaths by a third and reduce the consumption of even heavy drinkers, a new study has found.

The claims by a study published in the journal Addiction found raising the price of cheaper drinks reduced the consumption of heavier drinkers. Research was carried out between 2002 and 2009 after the minimum pricing limits for alcohol drinks were set in Canada. The 32 per cent impact was bigger than had been expected, said the scientists.

Lead author Dr Tim Stockwell, from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, said: "Despite popular opinion to the contrary, even the heaviest drinkers reduce their consumption when minimum alcohol prices increase. It is hard otherwise to explain the significant changes in alcohol-related deaths observed in British Columbia."

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