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The Sobering Truth: Incentivizing Alcohol Death and Disability

Harmful alcohol consumption leads to one death every 10 seconds globally, resulting in 3 million deaths per year. It is a leading risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) including cancers, cardiovascular diseases and liver diseases, and imposes an economic and social burden by straining health systems, harming people, and exerting an unnecessary cost on societies.

But despite this global burden, billions of dollars are given to the alcohol industry every year through tax breaks, marketing subsidies and other incentives, particularly in low-and middle-income countries.

A new report from Vital Strategies, The Sobering Truth: Incentivizing Alcohol Death and Disability, uncovers these “perverse incentives,” and also examines how the industry interferes in government policies that are aimed at reducing consumption of alcohol products. The report proposes key recommendations for countries to strengthen their health systems against the harms of alcohol.