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Supplementary Material for: Fewer Cancer Cases in 4 Countries of the WHO European Region in 2018 through Increased Alcohol Excise Taxation: A Modelling Study

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posted on 03.12.2020, 12:37 by Rovira P., Kilian C., Neufeld M., Rumgay H., Soerjomataram I., Ferreira-Borges C., Shield K.D., Sornpaisarn B., Rehm J.
Introduction: Prevention of cancer has been identified as a major public health priority for Europe, and alcohol is a leading risk factor for various types of cancer. This contribution estimates the number of cancer cases that could have potentially been averted in 2018 in 4 European countries if an increase in alcohol excise taxation had been applied. Methods: Current country and beverage-specific excise taxation of 4 member states of the WHO European Region (Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, and Sweden) was used as a baseline, and the potential impacts of increases of 20, 50, and 100% to current excise duties were modelled. A sensitivity analysis was performed, replacing the current tax rates in the 4 countries by those levied in Finland. The resulting increase in tax was assumed to be fully incorporated into the consumer price, and beverage-specific price elasticities of demand were obtained from meta-analyses, assuming less elasticity for heavy drinkers. Model estimates were applied to cancer incidence rates for the year 2018. Results: In the 4 countries, >35,000 cancer cases in 2018 were caused by alcohol consumption, with the highest rate of alcohol-attributable cancers recorded in Germany and the lowest in Sweden. An increase in excise duties on alcohol would have significantly reduced these numbers, with between 3 and 7% of all alcohol-attributable cancer cases being averted if taxation had been increased by 100%. If the 4 countries were to adopt an excise taxation level equivalent to the one currently imposed in Finland, an even higher proportion of alcohol-attributable cancers could be avoided, with Germany alone experiencing 1,600 fewer cancer cases in 1 year. Discussion/Conclusion: Increasing excise duties can markedly reduce cancer incidence in European countries.