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The association between taxation increases and changes in alcohol consumption and traffic fatalities in Thailand

02 Feb 2017


In 2005, 2007 and 2009, alcohol taxation rates changed in Thailand. It is unknown if these changes are associated with alcohol consumption and traffic fatality rates.


Using monthly data from October 2004 to September 2011, we examined the relationship between alcohol taxation rate changes adjusted for inflation and changes in adult per capita consumption of alcohol (data obtained from the Excise Department) and the rate of traffic fatalities (data obtained from the National Police Institute).


Only the taxation increase in 2009 was significantly associated with an immediate and sustained reduction of 0.38 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.24–0.52) fatalities per 100 000 people per 30 days. The 2005, 2007 and 2009 taxation increases were associated with immediate and sustained reductions of 0.07 (95% CI: 0.04–0.09), 0.06 (95% CI: 0.02–0.10) and 0.05 (95% CI: 0.01–0.09) litres of pure alcohol consumption per capita per 30 days, respectively.


This is the first study to examine the impact of taxation on alcohol-related harms in a low- to middle-income country. Taxation changes were associated with reductions in the rate of traffic fatalities and in alcohol consumption; however, reductions of traffic fatalities were not always significant.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Public Health